A group from Southeast Alabama and Northwest Florida has been working for several months to prepare for a future mega project for the region. The group has identified several possible sites that could attract a mega-project including steps to "certify" the site as ready for an industrial expansion.
Economic development representatives from the areas have been meeting for more than six months to prepare for a project that could dramatically impact the region. In addition to identifying potential sites, the region has requested a workforce study to ensure potential companies that an available, trainable workforce exists in the region.
"This is a serious effort and we believe that we can be successful in attracting a major job creator for the region. We know that we have the workforce and great sites with strategic infrastructure. It's the perfect time to come together as a region for job creation," said Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the effort.
Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office, indicated support for regional collaboration. "Every region has a uniqueness and must determine the best ways to enhance their development efforts, with the Alabama-Florida partnership it certainly offers great potential to enhance the lives of Alabama and Florida citizens. From an Alabama perspective, we understand the benefits of working together with our neighboring states and look forward to further collaboration."
In Florida, Gray Swoope, secretary of commerce and president & CEO of Florida's public/private economic development agency, Enterprise Florida, said, "I applaud the region for working together to find a competitive mega-site. Florida's focus is on job creation and our team supports any effort of this type to get companies focused on Northwest Florida."
"We know there are potential projects for this region," said Neal Wade, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance and the other co-chairman of the effort. "And to have a united effort with this many counties and two states, should attract the attention of major companies that may be looking to locate in the Southeast United States."