Governor Ivey addresses economic developers

Governor Kay Ivey addressed economic developers at the Alabama Economic Development Association winter conference on Tuesday. The Governor shared with some 300 economic developers in attendance at the luncheon the resilience of Alabama’s economy, its focus on bringing industries — including high-tech jobs — to rural Alabama, as well than on the state’s workforce development efforts.

Here are some highlights of the governor’s speech:

“Since I took office, we have made $25 billion in new capital investments. We have created over 50,000 new jobs. We have had record unemployment. And by working together, we’ve created the most prosperous and robust economy in the history of the state of Alabama, making our state the best place to live, work and raise a family. Friends, there is no doubt that one of our economy’s greatest attributes is its strength and resilience. Over the past two years, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, some of which even came through the Biden-Harris administration. But fortunately, here in Alabama, we have an economy that no pandemic, natural disaster, or even an overly ambitious White House can destroy. As we begin this new year, we find that Alabama’s economical engine is revving up and firing on all cylinders.

“As someone who grew up in Wilcox County, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of small town Alabama. Despite the hard knocks thrown at us, our economic development efforts in rural counties of Alabama continued to deliver remarkable results. In 2020 and 2021, we brought more than $1.5 billion in new investments to our rural areas, as well as approximately 3,000 jobs. It’s also worth noting that Since the Alabama Jobs Act took effect in July 2015, 56 incentive projects have brought $4.3 billion in new capital investment and more than 6,000 new jobs to what we call our “targeted” counties. and “raisers”. Folks, rural Alabama is warning the rest of the country! And what’s even more amazing is the fact that the jobs we’re creating in rural Alabama aren’t just limited to industries that are traditional lly located outside the city limits. Last December, I had the opportunity to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a computer company in Brewton, Alabama. Yes, you all heard that right – an IT company in Brewton, Alabama. With a population of just over 5,000, Brewton is probably not the first place you would expect to find employment in software development and web design. But Provalus proves that the talent definitely exists in rural Alabama, which we’ve known forever! This project not only created 200 new jobs in Escambia County, but it also goes a long way in providing other businesses with a glimpse of what is possible in communities like Brewton. Over the past five years, foreign investment in rural Alabama counties has exceeded $1.5 billion and generated more than 4,300 new jobs.

The EDAA also awarded Cullman’s Peggy Smith the David R. Echols Award.

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