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The Clear Plan 2030 Results; Why East Alabama Must Improve Its Workforce


This week, the Clear Plan 2030 Capstone Presentation Report was released.  This report highlights goals and objectives in economic competitiveness, education, health, transportation, housing, and community engagement.  Although the entire report was very interesting to read, I am going to highlight on economic competitiveness and employment.  Which is the most pressing need in East Alabama.

On the survey results, the highest rankings by the survey takers were employment opportunities and quality education.  I can see why most people talked about these two topics the most.  Tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared in East Alabama over the last 20 years.  From Russell leaving Alexander City, mills closing down in Gadsden, to Fort McClellan closing down in Anniston.  East Alabama is struggling big time.  Things don’t get better when national articles ranked Talladega /Sylacauga as the 5th poorest region in America and Gadsden was ranked the 4th poorest city in America.  Even today, Pilgrim’s Pride in Boaz announced they would close down in January.  The job situation is not getting better in East Alabama.

Some people in East Alabama have simply given up and just collect food stamps or disability.  For some people, they have to drive long distances to just get to a job.  The job situation is that bad in East Alabama.  If the job situation can improve and good high paying jobs comes to East Alabama, other things will improve like health, transportation, education, and much more.  It’s because people will have the money necessary to eat better, spend money at local businesses, spend money on their kids to improve their learning, etc.

So here are the seven goals to improve economic competitiveness and employment in East Alabama.

In these goals, some of the objectives that stuck out with me were:

In my opinion, if you want to improve education, health, transportation, housing, and community engagement in East Alabama, you must improve the employment situation.  Every city in East Alabama already has the infrastructure ready to recruit industry and other good paying jobs.  It’s just something needs to be done to tell the world about East Alabama.

So I think one of the top things East Alabama can do to attract new high paying jobs, so many other things can improve, is to start a campaign to highlight the good things in East Alabama.  This can be done!  I would start an online campaign which would involve a website, social media accounts, and a YouTube page that shows the good in East Alabama.  Yes, this is already being done in other parts of the country.  The Empire State Development does a video campaign showing people why you should start your business in New York.  Here’s one of their videos.

This campaign would not only promote the industries already here.  It would promote the small businesses, special people, the parks, the outdoor adventures, and much more!  Videos could be put up on YouTube to show off these great features that would be seen by anyone around the world.  Plus the website would promote stories, pictures, and other things that would highlight East Alabama.  Something like this is badly needed, because this region has gotten bashed by lots of other organizations.

I hope something is done to move East Alabama forward.  I might not be here to see it because I have been unemployed for 28 months and looking at moving to just find a job, like many other people as well.  I believe East Alabama can come back, but it’s going to take funding and hard work to make it happen!

To read the entire Clear Plan 2030 Capstone Presentation Report go to:

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