The Alabama Aviation Center’s training programs are central to the aerospace sector in southeast Alabama. (contributed)
A capable workforce is a key advantage for the region, Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell said.
Multiple layers of training programs that provide a solid foundation, as well as attractive pay rates, set the community apart.
“That, I think elevates us more than anything else: being able to provide that quality worker,” he said.
Invested in aerospace
Boswell said Farnborough is an opportunity to reconnect with companies that already call the region home and to seek out new connections.
“As always, I’m very excited to meet our existing friends as well as network with new friends, so there’s a two-fold potential as we let them know that Enterprise, Alabama, is open for business,” he said.
Another key advantage for southeast Alabama is its location, said Rick Clifton, president and chief executive of the Covington County Economic Development Commission.
“We are centrally located in the Southeastern United States aerospace corridor with access to many aerospace companies, including Boeing in South Carolina, Gulfstream in Georgia, the aerospace companies in Florida and the Airbus 320 Final Assembly Line in Mobile,” he said.
Covington County has invested heavily in aerospace, Clifton continued.
“We want industry to know we have facilities and a workforce that would enable them to locate easily in the southeastern United States. Our location would fit for suppliers working with Airbus, which is 90 miles away, and our location is such to easily reach the entire eastern part of the country,” Clifton said.
“The potential is to partner with industry in such a way as to help them succeed: Their success is our success.”
Infrastructure, workforce and location are all important advantages for southeast Alabama, but the region also possesses another important quality, said Wiley Lott, director of External Affairs and Economic Development for Southeast Alabama Gas District.
Aerospace and aviation are part of the area’s DNA, he said, with generations of families who have worked in the field, from sheet metal fabricators and flight system engineers to plane mechanics and helicopter pilots.
“We have a proven track record,” Lott said. “Southeast Alabama is not an unknown quantity because of the successful companies we’ve got. And we want to send the message to other companies: Come be a part of our success.”