It was a great honor to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the sold-out AFRW Dinner honoring Governor Kay Ivey. Thank you, Governor Ivey, for your work and selfless dedication to Alabamians.
Tuesday's historic State of the Union Address reminds us of how blessed we are to be able to stand, salute, and pledge to our flag.
The economic impact for our state when physicians choose to practice in rural areas is profound. Today business and medical leaders in the Troy-Pike County area met to discuss how to recruit and retain adequate medical care in Alabama's rural communities. Dr. Wil Baker, Executive Director of the Alabama Medical Education Consortium and Professor of Family Medicine at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, led the discussion. Thank you to the Pike County Chamber of Commerce for coordinating such an informative luncheon.
HotCoffee, a business group that meets at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, featured an article I wrote on green space and how it enhances downtown communities. Read "Cherish the Green Space: A Practical Solution for Urban Development" and view the photograph I captured in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville here: www.hotcoffeegroup.net/blog/cherish-the-green-space
Thank you to local historians for speaking to the Pike County Historical, Genealogical, and Preservation Society on the economic history of Brundidge. I will use the information in efforts to recruit business and industry to Pike County and rural areas. #Our67
Our state's Black Belt is rich in cultural history. Thank you to Black Belt Treasures, in conjuction with the Alabama Humanities Foundation, for hosting a conference entitled, "Pride of Place: Arts & Culture, Geography, and Way of Life of Alabama's Black Belt." #Our67
Pictured with fellow historian Donald G. Nobles, Retired Honors Program Director at Auburn University of Montgomery and Charlie "Tin Man" Lucas, featured Black Belt artist
This morning Governor Kay Ivey gave an excellent economic and employment outlook for the River Region and our entire state at a breakfast hosted by the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to all who coordinated the 2018 Alabama Update. It is always refreshing to hear about the positive business climate within our great state.
For eighteen years, Troy University has hosted an annual McPherson-Mitchell Lecture in Southern History. On the evening of 23 January 2018, Troy’s History Department chose author and historian Dr. Hardy Jackson to speak on the history of gulf coast property development from the 1920s to today. Thank you, Troy University, for coordinating this insightful talk. (You made this economic developer, commercial real estate developer, and Alabama historian’s day! ;) )
It is always a pleasure to speak with friends at the Madison County Republican Men's Club Breakfast. Today marks the 397th consecutive meeting of this group, which is a milestone in itself. Almost to 400...! #Our67
We made it through the snowstorm tonight and enjoyed watching Alabama Men's Basketball beat Auburn (A good game!) Roll Tide!
In a moving ceremony, the Alabama House of Representatives recognized our state’s three living Congressional Medal of Honor recipients (Captain Mike Rose of Huntsville, Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins of Opelika, and Lieutenant Colonel Mike Sprayberry of Titus), along with Purple Heart recipients and members of the House who served in the military. Thank you to all active military, veterans, and families for your sacrifices on behalf of our nation.
Tuesday evening I was honored to attend Kay Ivey's State of the State Address. A refreshing theme resonated in the Old House Chamber - Alabama’s business climate is strong. Economic development is a team effort, and our Governor has worked with elected officials, the business community, and constituents to make this happen. Economic development requires partnerships and a willingness to invest in our future. If we continue following these principles, we will continue to witness success stories in Alabama.
Alabama made economic history yesterday. Read more about what the Toyota Mazda joint venture plant announcement means for our city, state, and the nation.
Alabama Political Reporter Article: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/11/toyota-mazda-build-massive-new-auto-manufacturing-plant-limestone-county/
Alabama Political Reporter
By: Brandon Moseley
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced during her Tuesday’s State of the State speech that Kimber Manufacturing Inc., a leading U.S. firearms manufacturer, has finalized plans to open a production facility in Troy, Alabama, where it will create 366 jobs and invest $38 million into the local economy over the next five years.
“News of our economic successes seem to be a daily occurrence,” Gov. Ivey said. “In fact, I am proud to announce this evening that Kimber Firearms will build a $38 million dollar production facility in Troy, bringing with it 366 new jobs! These are good, high-paying jobs, and will enable more of our citizens to provide for their families while taking part in the rich history of the Second Amendment. We are proud and honored to welcome Kimber to Alabama! This announcement and countless others like it make one thing clear: what we are doing is working, and as a result, the people of Alabama are working and providing for their families.”
“With talented Alabamians already manufacturing a wide range of high-quality products that are in demand around the globe, the state can offer Kimber an ideal business environment and a skilled workforce for its expansion project,” Ivey said in a statement. “Kimber’s investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs, and we are committed to helping the company find long-lasting success in Alabama.”
Kimber was once a small manufacturing company based in Yonkers, New York. Kimber has grown rapidly over the past 21 years. The new manufacturing facility in Troy will be Kimber’s sixth U.S. location.
“We are pleased with the impressive track record that Alabama has with attracting and retaining world-class manufacturing companies,” said Kimber’s president and chief executive officer, Leslie Edelman. “Growing our company intelligently depends significantly on being in the right manufacturing environment, and in Troy, we have a community dedicated to our long-term success. It has been a pleasurable and fruitful experience working with Mayor Jason Reeves and his team.”
Greg Grogan, Kimber’s chief operating officer, said that the company will build a large, automated, state-of-the-art design engineering and manufacturing facility in Troy to support Kimber’s strategic growth plans.
“Troy offers us expansion with a passionate workforce, extraordinarily low utility costs, a pro-business environment, experienced local training support, and long-term incentives from the state and local government alike,” Grogan said. “This expansion in conjunction with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class products provides for exciting times here at Kimber.”
James Cox, Kimber’s chief financial officer, said an unprecedented growth in demand for Kimber products is driving the company to increase its manufacturing capacity. “As we continue to move into uncharted waters in regards to Kimber product demand, it was important to us to build a facility that will allow us to secure a significant new plateau of capacity.”
Kimber’s new design engineering and manufacturing facility in Troy is expected to be fully operational in early 2019.
“Kimber is a first-class firearms manufacturer with a reputation for precision craftsmanship, dependability and accuracy, which makes it just the kind of high-performance company we want to attract to the state,” said Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “We look forward to Kimber joining the ranks of great manufacturers that are growing and thriving in our state.”
“It is the realization of a long-term goal for the City of Troy and for me personally to see a firearms manufacturing company with a stellar brand like Kimber creating jobs and investing in the community,” Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said. “Troy has a strong manufacturing base, and Kimber will substantially add to that foundation.”
Economic developer, Nicole Jones, told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Alabama is growing, and Troy is growing, because companies recognize that we have a quality and skilled workforce, which is the number one criterion firms identify during the site selection process. Kimber’s $38 million dollar investment demonstrates confidence in Troy’s business climate. The city of Troy has a strong manufacturing base, which helps create an environment conducive for the world’s fifth largest producer of handguns to succeed. The 366 design-engineering and manufacturing jobs created as a result of Kimber’s sixth location within the United States will provide wages Alabamians can live on with a company that recognizes our state’s appreciation of second amendment rights.”
“It is estimated that every one high-paying primary job creates 2.5 secondary/service jobs, which means that more people will be employed and spending money in and around the city of Troy as a result of the Kimber manufacturing facility,” Jones explained. “Congratulations, Troy and Pike County, on this win, and thank you to Kimber for your investment and commitment to our community.”
“When I meet with global CEOs of companies considering Alabama, or who already have companies here, they tell me their Alabama facility operates at a level that cannot be rivaled,” Gov. Ivey said. “My fellow Alabamians, that is because of you, — the hard-working people of Alabama. Companies choose Alabama because of your dedication and our skilled workforce. When a company invests in Alabama, it is investing not just in our state, but in you, our people.”
Remington recently built a new gun manufacturing plant here in Alabama.
Article Link: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/11/kimber-open-firearms-manufacturing-facility-troy/
Economic History: It was a blessing to witness the official announcement of the joint venture Toyota-Mazda plant today, which will bring over 4,000 jobs to the Huntsville-annexed area of Limestone County. Alabama's business climate is strong, and we have the skilled workforce that the automotive industry needs. Thank you to Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Corporation, and Masamichi Kogai, President of Mazda, for investing in our state. Economic development is a team effort; thank you to everyone who collaborated to make "Project New World" happen.
Throwback Monday ;) - Tonight we win a National Championship! Claim it, #RollTide
Recently Fred Holland invited me on his morning radio show to discuss economic development principles, newly announced projects, and potential upcoming projects. Thank you, Fred Holland and WTKI (and the cat!) It is always a pleasure to speak with you and listeners in Huntsville and Decatur.
WTKI/WEKI Radio Segment Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVbGf_aRNp0
Sugar Bowl (and Southern Economic) History:
In 1935, Tulane Stadium in New Orleans hosted the first Sugar Bowl. Prior to 1871, Tulane's campus was located on Paul Foucher's plantation, where his father-in-law, Jean Etienne de Bore, first granulated sugar from cane syrup. Etienne de Bore's invention of the sugar granulation process led to sugar becoming Louisiana colony's primary commodity crop.
What's in a name? Now you know. Happy New Year from an Alabama historian who will be cheering on the Tide as they beat Clemson in the Sugar Bowl this evening. Roll Tide.