HAMBURG, GERMANY (WTVM) - On Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley addressed aerospace industry leaders at the Aviation Forum 2012 in Hamburg, Germany.
The goal of Governor Bentley's visit to the Aviation Forum is to recruit more aerospace jobs to Alabama. Governor Bentley and other state and local leaders are meeting with aerospace industry suppliers this week to discuss the advantages of locating in Alabama.
"With Airbus building its first U.S.-based production facility in Mobile, the entire state is poised for growth," Governor Bentley said. "Suppliers can benefit from the same positive business climate that helped us attract Airbus. We're ready to work with companies and partner with them to bring even more jobs to Alabama."
Airbus is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs within the company's Mobile production facility. Over time, suppliers could bring many more jobs to various communities as they locate in Alabama to support the Airbus facility.
Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield traveled to Germany with Governor Bentley to discuss economic development from a state perspective.
"By making this trip, we want to make sure aerospace suppliers are aware of what is available in Alabama and how we can help them expand their businesses here," Secretary Canfield said. "The fact that Airbus is bringing 1,000 new jobs to Alabama is a major achievement. But when you also consider that one assembly line job with Airbus could span as many as three to four additional jobs when related industry comes to support the company's needs, that means Alabama will be part of a major aerospace sector."
Governor Bentley and Secretary Canfield are discussing several specific benefits Alabama offers to prospective companies. Among those benefits – workforce development and training programs that can help companies succeed from day one.
"Alabama has the best workforce you'll find anywhere in the world, and on top of that, we also have the best workforce training program," Governor Bentley said. "Our AIDT workforce training program helps companies of various sizes have the highly-skilled workers they need in order to compete and succeed."
AIDT, which stands for Alabama Industrial Development Training, offers training facilities across the state, including on-location training sites at various employers.
Alabama is also working with regional and local organizations to offer aerospace companies a new Supplier Support Network – a "one-stop shop" that will help companies understand regulations, permitting, workforce recruitment, training opportunities and more. Any contact within the Supplier Support Network will be able to help companies search for site location options and establish business operations. The idea is that more jobs can be attracted to Alabama as the state streamlines the process of setting up shop and works more closely with employers.
Already, Alabama has more than 300 aerospace-related companies, particularly in the northern part of the state. Governor Bentley said the Airbus project in Mobile will help spur additional aerospace development in other regions of Alabama as well.
"This year's Airbus announcement is, in many ways, similar to the announcement that Mercedes was coming to Alabama back in the 1990s," Governor Bentley said. "Since then, not only has Mercedes opened, expanded and hired additional people, so have other automotive companies and suppliers. In fact, thousands of people work for automotive suppliers across the state."
"With Airbus jetliner production coming to Alabama, there is tremendous potential for similar growth in the aerospace industry," Governor Bentley added. "By meeting with suppliers at the Aviation Forum, we're able to build on our progress and attract even more jobs to Alabama."