BCMA holds meeting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2002

The Butler County Manufacturer's Association (BCMA) held their quarterly meeting Thursday night at the Butler County Chamber of Commerce.

Todd Strange, Executive Director of the Alabama Development Organization and former CEO and co-owner of Blount-Strange Ford, was the guest speaker and discussed development of Greenville and Butler County.

Strange said that Butler County is a perfect place to market to large industries due to its attractiveness and willingness of the people to welcome others into the county.

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Strange said that the Alabama Department of Economic Development is working hard to bring new industry to Alabama and that Alabama has several things to offer to an industry.

Strange said Greenville is a great example of what small towns should strive to be and that he is very impressed with Greenville and its citizens.

"Greenville is the epitome of what a small town should be," Strange said. "It is the prime example of a small Southeast town."

Strange said Greenville and Butler County should join forces with area counties to bring new business to the state and be open to suggestions and open to working with other counties.

Strange said that as business grows and expands in Alabama, all areas are affected. "All boats rise with the rising tide," Strange said.

Strange said that the local government deserves just as much credit as state government does when business is brought in because industries look at the area or region as a whole, and not simply at the possible industry site.

He said the local and state government should join together to focus on the same goals even if they are not in total agreement on certain subjects.

"I am not saying that they have to be on the same train," Strange said, "just get on the same track."

Strange said that when an industry is looking for a new business site, they seek three essential elements: an educated work force, infrastructure and a certain quality of life.

He said a community needs to be able to offer an industrial park, human and financial capital, political will and a niche.

"A community should find their niche and market it," Strange said. "Market everywhere."

According to Strange, statistics show that 80 percent of all new jobs come from companies that are already located in a state, but states and communities should market their niche at all times to bring in new opportunities.

Strange told BCMA members that Butler County officials have the ability and resources they need to bring in new industry and opportunities.

"You can win them here," Strange said. "You have several things to offer."

Strange closed by saying that Butler County officials should be ready at all times to market the area. He said that government officials should "get over the parochial lines" and be there for an industry and be ready to market the county and city.