Industry, community organizing labor survey

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Area industrial development leaders and other community members met early Tuesday to discuss plans for a labor survey to be conducted in Butler County for the purpose of gathering information on the available work force for an industry that has included Georgiana on its short list of possible site locations.

Ricky McLaney, director of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, said the London, Ky., based Image Entry, Imaging and Data Conversion Services, has expressed interest in the former Pride Craft building on Highway 31 in Georgiana, and a number of local service groups are joining forces to get the people of the surrounding area to pre-apply for any of the potential 200 future jobs there.

Representatives of Image Entry will be in Georgiana on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 27, 28 and 29, to accept survey forms and meet with potential employees. McLaney said applications will be accepted for extended hours during the three-day visit to accommodate people working on any shift.

"It is important for anyone who might be interested in employment to make plans to stop in during the survey," he said. "We need to show this company the depth of our workforce and what they will have to choose from should they move here."

McLaney said the company's plans are to provide as many as 200 jobs in its new location within two years from opening, and a detailed look at the available workforce will give the potential area employer an even closer look at what the area's workforce has to offer.

Alabama Development Office representative Joe Berry has been involved in a number of

labor surveys of this type in the past and said the surveys are used to gather brief work histories from potential employees to determine if there are enough suitable employees in the area to support the company's desired workforce. The more people that show up for the survey, Berry said, the better the chances of the company committing to Butler County in the near future.

"The success of this labor survey will determine whether or not this industry moves here," Berry said. "We need complete community involvement to make this survey a success."

During the survey, interested candidates should come prepared to fill out a brief personal history form that will list former occupations and employers. Potential candidates will then meet briefly with representatives from the company.

"It is important for people to remember that we are not accepting applications for Image Entry," McLaney said. "We are simply gathering information about the area labor force so they can decide if we have what they need."

Image Entry was recently awarded a $1.5 million contract for income tax data processing for the Alabama Department of Revenue.