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Republicans and Democrats Agree Economy is Top Priority (Kay Ivey)

  |   By: Kay Ivey     |   Letters to the Editor

Alabama leadership remains committed to growing the economy and job creation

During a time of increased partisanship in our nation, coming together on a common priority for Republicans and Democrats is a rarity. But a recent Gallup poll reveals one topic on which both sides of the aisle enthusiastically agree – the economy. The poll shows both parties believe the economy is either an extremely or very important issue facing the president and Congress.

Since coming into office, Governor Bentley, the Legislature, and I have always made the economy and job creation our top priority. To the unemployed Alabamian, there’s no greater help the government can provide right now than cultivating an environment where businesses want to develop and new jobs are created for our citizens.

Alabama’s commitment to job creation and growing the economy is reaffirmed with each jobs announcement, groundbreaking, and ribbon-cutting. Since 2011, more than 100,000 current or future jobs have been created. That means 100,000 Alabama families have the opportunity for a better life. We recently welcomed Remington Arms to Huntsville where 2,000 Alabamians may find employment in highly-skilled, high-paying jobs. In that same week, three more companies cut ribbons on new facilities or announced plans to expand bringing 600 more jobs to Alabama.

Job growth is not limited to one area of the state. The Department of Commerce recently announced a renewed push to help the state’s rural communities better compete for projects and jobs. Born and raised in Alabama’s Black Belt, I believe in investing in our rural counties. Golden Dragon Copper Tubing will soon open for business in rural Wilcox County, providing jobs for 500 people. It is personally encouraging to see this kind of growth in my home county where the unemployment rate is the highest in the state. In Macon County, South Korea-based Taesung is building a $6.6 million facility that will initially provide 70 jobs. That may not sound impressive next to Remington’s 2,000 jobs, but in a rural area, those jobs will have a significant impact. I applaud the efforts of the Department of Commerce and local leadership.

From a high of 10.5 percent, Alabama’s unemployment rate is now at a five-year low of 6.1 – the lowest in the South. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to be done. Your leadership remains committed to growing the economy and creating jobs. Alabama is on the move and we’re moving in the right direction.

Follow Kay on Twitter at @LtGovIvey

Kay Ivey currently serves as the Lieutenant Governor of Alabama.