Governor to meet with Public at 5 p.m. at Airport
By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
The Governor's office, along with Mayor Howard Shell, city and county officials are working to prepare for Governor Don Siegelman's visit today in Atmore.
The governor is expected to address the public beginning shortly after 5 p.m. at the Atmore Municipal Airport.
Siegelman is visiting the city as a part of his continuing "Communities of Excellence" job tours, a part of what his office calls an effort to compete for Tier-One Hyundai suppliers for the area.
According to a release from the Governor's office, local economic development officials will guide Siegelman through Atmore to showcase existing economic development infrastructure.
The governor is expected to arrive in town at 4 p.m. and meet with local industry and city leaders. After his arrival, he plans to take a brief tour of Alto Industries manufacturing plant.
The governor will leave the city at around 5:30 p.m., and leave behind several members of his industrial development team to discuss with city and county officials industrial relations.
Locally, Atmore Police Chief Bruce Lovett said that security issues should not be a concern for the Governor's visit.
CEG focuses on ten steps
The governor's office has developed what it calls the Fast Track for Communities of Excellence program.
The group, including members of the governor's Center for Economic Growth will be looking at education, roads and bridges, the airport, industrial park(s), work force capability, childcare and healthcare, technological capacity, local support and planning, culture and community relations and media and public relations.
These ten things, along with other local factors will be included in the report released by the governor's office after the visit.
Reports from the CEG office will hopefully be prepared within four weeks following the Governor's visit. It will suggest both short-and long-term improvements to the community that would be appealing to potential suppliers.
The CEG was created by Siegelman in April as part of the Alabama Development Office to focus on the expansion of existing industry. The timetable set by Hyundai to begin its automotive manufacturing operation in Montgomery has given rise to an accelerated need to locate Tier-One and other automotive suppliers.
During a trip to South Korea, Siegelman said he gained valuable insight from Hyundai officials that he hopes will help maximize the number of suppliers locating in Alabama communities.
In April, Siegelman announced that Hyundai would build its new $1 billion automotive manufacturing plant in Alabama. An independent economic analysis predicted that the plant would create approximately 8,000 direct and indirect jobs and $280 million in total earnings.