Air show presence may help bring jobs to state - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Air show presence may help bring jobs to state

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Make no mistake, Alabama officials are pulling out all the stops.

"We had a great, great contingent of folks here all the way from the governor's office, we had a couple congressmen, other state leaders from major companies," says Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson.

Johnson's city is already home to some aerospace manufacturers.

That and Andalusia's proximity to Mobile mean his eye is on Airbus suppliers.

"You sit down face to face with the decision makers of the companies. And this is where you see all of the CEO's and the presidents and the vice executive presidents."

"I had an executive tell me if you were not in Alabama or trying to come to Alabama you didn't understand what was going on. So that's just good news for all," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

He just returned from Paris. While the Capital City doesn't have an aviation presence "we're situated and well suited with infrastructure to accommodate that," adds Strange.

He met with officials from GKN Aerospace--a global company with a plant in Tallassee.

"We have been working with them. There are some things that will perhaps happen there," adds Strange.

It may be some time before the companies make decisions, but one thing is for sure.

"We're being considered by them but we have to continue to build those relationships and that's what we're going to do," says Johnson.

Strange also met with aviation companies from South Korea. He believes the city of Montgomery's ties to that area are already strong thanks to the Hyundai partnership. He plans to attend a similar air show in Seoul, South Korea later this year. 

Alabama dignitaries met with 11 aerospace companies. Some already do business in the state, others are new prospects.

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