Many think region lacks technology
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 2004
The River city received rave reviews for its new Alabama Southern campus and economic opportunities Wednesday. Demopolis was the host site for this months Black Belt Action Commission Manufacturing Committee’s monthly meeting where several officials in the Black Belt gathered to discuss the possibilities of the region.
Each month the committee meets in a different area of the Black Belt to become more familiar with the people and the industry.
Anita Archie Chairman of the Black Belt Action Comission and Manufacturing Committee, said this has been very helpful.
“We have chosen to go around to different Black Belt Counties and hold our monthly meetings and hopefully here we would get to know a little bit more about the communities,” Archie said.
“We are mainly interested in the town and what type of needs they may have and also to get a general idea of how to get more industry.”
Archie said the meeting in Demopolis was an eye opening experience as far as technology and the Black Belt are concerned..
“One of the tings we found out today was that many people believe the Black Belt Counties do not have technology,” Archie said. “That is a misconception. It is definitely ready for technology and ready to embrace technology.
Also, we learned today is the college is providing people for the work force here. When industry comes in and says there is no work force here we can say we disagree with them because there are programs in existence.”
Dr. John H. Johnson, President of the Alabama Southern system in Monroeville, said for many years people have been under the impression there was no technology in the Black Belt. Johnson said Monday’s meeting helped end this way of thinking.
“Some members of the Black Belt Commission have doubted whether the Black Belt had technology or not,” Johnson said. “No member of the committee walked away with that impression. Everyone was exceedingly impressed with the technology in this facility.”
Archie said learning about the area and possibilities at the meetings were all centered around one target.
“Our main goal is to create jobs,” Archie said. “That is our main goal. We want to let everyone know the Black Belt is open for business.”
State Rep. Thomas Jackson also attended the meeting to stay on top of the state of his district. Jackson said meetings like this were an excellent way to swap ideas and attract industry.
“This is a good opportunity to bring people and industry together,” Jackson said. “This shows we are ready to go to work and ready to open up this area. Demopolis is the center point right now because of the school being here to accommodate and reach out to other areas of the black belt region.”
Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williams also seemed to have made a lasting impact on the Committee.
“Mayor Williamson did a great job of welcoming the manufacturing commission to Demopolis” Johnson said. “Every member of the committee expressed how impressed they were with Demopolis and the college facility the city and higher education partners have developed here.”
We are proud to be able to host the manufacturing committee. Their work is important obviously for the Black Belt and it effects what we do in education as well. We feel very privelidged that