Investments topping $5 billion are coming to Alabama through new and expanding industries. They will create more than 20,000 jobs throughout the state. Three-quarters of that investment and two-thirds of those jobs are slated for 15 counties in the state. One is Houston County.
“There’s a lot of retail, aviation, the medical school is opening up. They’re going to create more jobs,” explained Mayor Mike Schmitz of Dothan.
Academy Sports opened in March, which created 200 jobs alone in the circle city. Commercial jet is adding 500 more.
Schmitz said, “Commercial jet will have a $25 million a year payroll when they're up and going full time. That turns over several times.”
However, there are 11 counties in Alabama that are not going to see a dime. Henry, Coffee, and Covington County are what the report calls "have-nots." Yet, Enterprise mayor Kenneth Boswell said that's not necessarily true. Although they do not have a major manufacturer, like Commercial jet, a few franchise restaurants recently opened. Mayor Schmitz said taking a regional approach will help everyone.
"We all need to work together and as we're out knocking on doors if we see opportunities for them, we're going to let them know and try to help them,” he stated.
After all, lifestyle thrives on economic growth.
“People go out and buy cars, they buy clothes, and they buy houses. They reinvest in our community, so it's really a good thing. And sales tax!”
In a couple of weeks, Mayor Schmitz will travel to China and Korea to visit manufacturing companies interested in operating in the Wiregrass.