New investments detailed in rurAL Economic Developers’ Summit

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield says that winning streak is resulting in thousands of new jobs.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Rural Alabama is on a winning streak. In the last few years, those areas of the state have brought in significant new investments. Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield shared this news Wednesday at the Rural Economic Developers’ Summit in Prattville.

“We’ve seen $4 billion of investment coming into rural communities across the state since 2020,” said Canfield.

To continue the momentum, the Alabama Department of Commerce offers a Simulated Training and Readiness Program. Elected leaders can learn how to attract more businesses to their area and how to increase the number of skilled workers in their counties.

“It gives these communities an opportunity to focus and build on those strings, to be able to identify and attract the types of industries and the companies within those industries that are a good and smart fit in those communities,” said Canfield.

Even with the economic developments, there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the jobs being created.

“Provide a robust talent pipeline for new and existing businesses,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “You’ll hear more about this from me as we get closer to the legislative session.”

There are two legislative committees, led by Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth and Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter, at work on a plan for next year’s legislative session that will encourage more people to join the workforce.

Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield will step down at the end of this year. After 12 years of holding the position, he will be replaced by Montgomery economic developer Ellen McNair.

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