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The Business View – December 2016/January 2017 / News You Can Use
The Mobile Area Chamber and University of South Alabama recently learned that the U.S. Department of Commerce re-designated the region’s manufacturing community efforts until 2018. “It demonstrates we are making progress toward our regional goals,” says Laura O’Connor, Advancing Southwest Alabama.
The U.S. Department of Commerce-led program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide and increase international trade and exports.
“This designation has given us an edge in successfully receiving federal grants such as the recent grant for Innovation PortAL,” says Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Chamber.
The region, comprised of eight southwest Alabama counties, first received the designation in 2014 as one of the first 12 communities in the nation. With it, the region received preferential scoring on a number of economic development grants, resulting in $20 million coming to the community.
Other projects funded include a new industrial access road for Atmore’s Rivercane Industrial Park; the City of Mobile’s Bring Back Broad initiative, acceptance into the ACT Work Ready Communities designation program linking education and workforce development and matching to job availability; research to identify needed resources and gaps in service; and a regional supply chain study as it relates to workforce.
“This re-designation brings national recognition to our ability to successfully collaborate to achieve results,” said O’Connor. “Since 2014, the partners of Advancing Southwest Alabama have received more than $20 million in federal funds. Imagine what we can accomplish with two more years.”
Click here to read The Business View – December 2016/January 2017