The Alabama Economic Development Alliance has held its first meeting focusing on implementation of the Accelerate Alabama strategic plan for the economic development of the state.
When he announced the Alliance's strategic plan last month, Governor Robert Bentley stressed the importance of ensuring that the plan is effectively implemented.
"It is important to Alabama's economy that this plan is carried out and is not just paper collecting dust on a shelf," Governor Bentley said. "We must ensure that Alabama remains competitive and that people can find good-paying jobs both now and in the future. This week's meeting is an important step in seeing this plan turn into results."
Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office, serves as the chairman of the Alliance and is overseeing the implementation. Accelerate Alabama has three key drivers, including recruitment of new projects and retention of existing business. The plan also focuses on renewal, or job creation through innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization and research and development.
"The plan identifies resources that are available to strengthen our state's economic development efforts, organizations responsible for each task, and deadlines for implementation," Canfield said. "We are in the process of prioritizing the accelerators that will drive this plan so that we can implement it in the most effective manner. We have assigned organizational responsibility for each accelerator."
This week's implementation meeting took place Wednesday afternoon and will be followed by consistent efforts to turn the strategic plan into action. Alliance members will gather again in the spring for an update on progress.
Alliance members include: Canfield; Economic Development Partnership of Alabama President Bill Taylor; Greg Barker representing the Alabama Marketing Allies; Dr. Freida Hill, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System; Dr. Malcolm Portera, chancellor of the University of Alabama System; Mike McCain, executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority; Ellen McNair, senior vice president of corporate development of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce; Dus Rogers, president of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority; and Dr. Marquita Davis, director of the Alabama Department of Finance.
The Alabama Economic Development Alliance, a group created in July 2011 by executive order of Governor Robert Bentley, brought together agencies and organizations involved in the state's economic development activities. For more information on the strategy and its accelerators, visit http://www.alabamausa.org/, and click on Alabama's Economic Development Strategy. You can also contact the Alabama Development Office at (334) 242-0476 or (334) 242-0421.