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If you listened to Jay Williams, administrator of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, following an hour and half with Mobile area stakeholders, you would have heard he was impressed with the regional coalition.
“In the five years I’ve been traveling to dozens and dozens of communities, this is the broadest, most diverse coalition I’ve seen,” he said in both his opening and closing comments. “And, not just in discussion,” he added, “but through actions.”
Williams was in Mobile this morning to meet with the leaders of the public-private partnership Advancing Southwest Alabama to discuss ongoing activities of the local “Manufacturing Community” designation.
He was presented an overview and update on the region’s workforce development efforts, innovation and recent economic development successes from representatives of the University of South Alabama, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, Mobile County Public School System, Mobile Works, Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council, Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance and Innovation PortAL.
When asked about his key take-a-ways from the meeting, Williams focused on:
“These are the types of things I want to talk about to policymakers in Washington D.C. This is why these type of investments need to continue,” Williams said.