Butler County has all the qualities that corporations need

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2002

A couple of weeks ago, Sen. Richard Shelby made a visit to Butler County to discuss issues that residents of the county are concerned about.

One of those issues was the economy. Shelby said that he has high hopes that the economy will be turning around in the near future, and that even though Americans currently are facing a recession, things should be looking up about mid-year.

On Monday morning, The Today Show reported that after a survey of companies nationwide, 20 percent reported that in April they will be creating new jobs and will once again start hiring new employees. Ten percent of the companies reported that they will not be creating new positions and will still continue to have lay offs throughout their individual outlets.

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In addition, Alabama's unemployment rate for January fell to 5.3 percent, a decrease from the December rate of 6.0. This rate represents 113,500 unemployed persons, compared to 129,800 the previous month and 105,800 in January 2001.

Although this isn't the best of news, it provides some good news. Many people in recent months have faced lay-offs and after many months, still are facing the difficulties of the recession.

However, Butler County is on the grow, and there is talk of several industries coming to south central Alabama. Airport Manager Travis Capps said that Butler County has three of the four major aspects that companies look for when opening or relocating a facility. They include: interstate access, an airport where corporate jets can land and a railroad system. The only aspect that the county is missing is a deep-water port. However, an added benefit Butler County has is that Mobile, Alabama's port, is less than 130 miles away.

In addition to these benefits, Butler County also has a workforce that is reliable and dedicated. For example, many of the employees of Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel and International Paper have long histories with the companies.

Although much of Alabama is suffering due to the recession, things are starting to look up. Maybe these industries will realize that Butler County is the place that has it all.