Terri Sewell knows that West Alabama has not prospered in good economic times and has suffered worse than most in hard times. The fact is that over 10% of Alabamians are unemployed and in parts of this district, like Wilcox County, the unemployment rate exceeds 25%. The closing of Dixie Pellet in Selma, the loss of 300 jobs due to the Weyerhaeuser closing in Wilcox County and the threat of New Era Cap plant closing in Demopolis are glaring examples of how hard this district has been hit during the economic downturn.
That's why Terri will fight to get Alabama to work by creating jobs and strengthening our economy. On her first day in Congress, Terri will lean on her experience as a finance attorney working in economic development to save, attract and create new jobs in West Alabama.
* Terri believes by making bold and wise investments in Main Street small businesses, infrastructure, education, workforce training, and green collar manufacturing jobs, we can get Alabama back to work.
* As an attorney with over 15 years experience in economic development law, Terri has negotiated multi-million dollar transactions finding practical solutions to finance public infrastructure projects. Her experience has taught her that fiscal responsibility and government accountability are the keys to making economic development plans successful. Terri will take this experience to Washington to create jobs and provide more opportunities for West Alabama.
* Terri knows that we need new skills to be prepared for the jobs of the future in West Alabama. If we are to compete for 21st century jobs we must prepare ourselves for 21st century employment opportunities. New technologies and innovation have required a new set of skills to work in the growth industries of renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology. That's why Terri will work to expand workforce development funding for West Alabama and renew public-private partnerships in the district to prepare us for the jobs of the future.
* In Congress, Terri will fight to increase funding for career and technical education and promote efforts to invest in critical programs that will equip our youth, adults and dislocated workers for jobs of the future. Terri will support expanding the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development ("WIRED") grants and Regional Innovation Grants Initiatives so that more rural communities can take advantage of such programs. She will work to ensure that Alabama gets access to federal funds to fulfill the Workforce Investment Act's mandates and she will fight to protect state funding of workforce development efforts.
* Terri knows that we have to get Main Street businesses hiring again because they are the economic heartbeat of the 7th district. That's why Terri will support tax incentives for small business to encourage them to hire more workers and tax credits for growth and expansion.
* In Congress, Terri will support legislation that will free up credit and capital to small business while promoting efforts that will help entrepreneurs flourish in Alabama.
* In Congress, Terri will put her substantial experience in financing public infrastructure to work for West Alabama. A native of the Black Belt, Terri knows that we have had major structural barriers to economic success in the 7th congressional district for generations. That's why Terri will lead the charge in providing investments to local governments so they can repair and rebuild our aging infrastructure including the rapid deployment of rural broadband. Terri will also work to fund the expansion of Highway 80 and Highway 43, as a critical first step in attracting new industries and jobs to west Alabama.
Creating Green Manufacturing Jobs
* The American Dream is going green. That's why Terri will work to put Alabama back to work by supporting Federal investments that will spur green manufacturing jobs by producing renewable energy right here in Alabama. She will support the development of sources of renewable energy like cellulosic ethanol made from wood by-products. Such innovation converts Alabama's natural resource--timber--into biofuel and creates the green jobs of the future.
* In Congress, Terri will work to ensure that responsible homeowners have access to credit while also demanding responsible lending practices. She will support efforts to provide financial counseling and relief from foreclosure to protect Alabama families faced with losing their homes due to predatory lending. Terri will use her 15 years of experience in finance, to draft enhanced regulation of mortgage products and disclosure laws so that homeowners can better understand their mortgage terms.