CCDA 2012 Annual Report
Anyone in my circle of family and friends will tell you that I don’t dwell on the past too much. Every now and then, it’s important to look at our past and see where we’ve come from and how can we be better. That’s the purpose of the CCDA’s 2012 Year in Review. It’s my goal to keep our stakeholders informed of what we did and how we plan to become an improved organization this year! In quick reflection, 2012 was a busy and productive year for the CCDA and 2013 promises to be even better!
- Valerie Gray was elected as President of the Economic Development Association of AL. EDAA is a membership-based organization focused on promoting economic growth in Alabama. Economic development professionals throughout the state, along with individuals and companies in related economic development fields, work together with the EDAA staff and board of directors to help positively influence state legislation and industrial growth within the state. EDAA currently has 500+ members.
- Ms. Gray was also appointed to serve on the State of Alabama’s Economic Development Alliance Board created by Governor Bentley.
- Chambers County’s Un-Employment Rate in Jan 2012 was 8.4%, it is now 7.9% Dec 2012. Since our highest point in February of 2009 of 19.4% the CCDA Staff has worked diligently to decrease this rate and generate revenue and wealth within Chambers County.
- CCDA staff worked and responded to 29 projects, and prospect visits.
- Successfully located 2 new companies in Chambers County, Process Development Corporation in Shawmut Mill and MWAAF. Also celebrated a $16million expansion at MeadWestvaco in Huguley.
- We were the finalist in the State of Alabama for 2 projects competing against other locations in the U.S. Both projects were non-automotive related and diverse manufacturers, thus encouraging us to continue to adhere to the targets that Garner Economics has set for us. We still remain close to those company individuals. Board President Bobby Williams was notified of the Staff’s professionalism and aggressive business attitude to win the project for the entire area.
- Hosted an AL Immigration Law Seminar with over 40 participants from large and small business in conjunction with Maynard Cooper and Gale.
- Hosted a group of South Korean educators and dignitaries to tour Chambers County Schools, Lanett City Schools and Point University which allowed us to demonstrate how fortunate we are to have great schools in our area. Point University and the CCDA hosted a luncheon for the group.
- Worked with and will continue working with Senator Gerald Dial, Mrs. Meesoon Han and the AKEEP (Alabama Korean Education Partnership). This program allows local students to travel to South Korea and spend a week learning the tradition and culture. We believe in making every effort possible to expose our youth and upcoming workforce to as many opportunities as we can.
- CCDA began hosting small business meetings quarterly. How to market your business through web, social media, and unemployment compensation law in Alabama were just a few topics covered.
- CCDA began hosting quarterly Human Resource Managers meetings for all local industries.
- The CCDA’s website won National Award “Best In Class” for governmental entities. Visit our site: www.chambersida.com
- Spent a full day with CBS News Sunday Morning Producer and Correspondents to complete a segment regarding rebounding from textile decline. As of print, the episode has not aired yet.
- Garner Study: Identified Targets for us. Food Beverage, Logistics, Diverse Demand Manufacturing and Retiree Attraction. Garner cautioned the Staff to be cautious of all the goals being the total responsibility of the CCDA. A large portion of the goals are a community wide responsibility for all entities in Chambers County to work towards. Complimented the Board and Staff “Great operation and staff in place. Folks gravitate towards greatness. Your enthusiasm and motivation to work hard for the community is contagious, don’t try to take it all on.”
- From our 6th month review from Mr. Garner: “proud of the progress the Staff had made at targeting consultants and relationships being built with Senior Living recruiting contacts and very pleased with some of the new developments that the Schools are making to improve workforce preparedness.”
- The Assisted Living in Shawmut is progressing along wonderfully. Should open in April 2013. So exciting!
- Kimberly Fuller is continuing to work one on one with Point Students, for their housing needs and misc. items. Engaging students to volunteer with us.
- Intern Programs: CCDA has a local VHS Student a semester. We are teaching them how to apply skills in real world. We will be hiring a Summer Intern again. Qualifications will be forthcoming but it will be a Local HS graduate or rising senior. Part time job from May-September.
- The CCDA Hosted a Russian Delegation in collaboration with Mayor Crawley’s daughter. They toured local industries and had lunch with a small group from some of the cities.
- Retail: Retail continues to be a challenge for the area. The spending patterns of the local demographics and our retail trade area sometimes difficult to present to the retailers that we think would be a good fit here.
- Our Existing Industry program is very important right now. We are working with all local companies on issues and continuing to foster the relationships with companies who may be currently dormant.
- Our working relationship and public private partnership with Kroger and the Lanett Mayor and Council proved to be important in helping keep Kroger in Lanett, improve the Highway 29 and Highway 50 Intersection and increased revenue to the city.
- What’s on the horizon:
- CCDA Staff attending the Site Selectors Guild Annual Meeting in New Orleans in February.
- CCDA Staff attending the SEDC’s Meet the Consultants Conference in Atlanta in April.
- CCDA Staff attending ICSC Retail RECon Show in Vegas in May.
- Retail, Retiree, Diversification, Land and Building Development and increased targeted marketing efforts.
- Always looking for new land to develop. And potential sites for Speculative Buildings.
Valerie Gray, Execuitve Director
Chambers County Development Authority