Kay Ivey to visit Demopolis

Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey will discuss the Black Belt Initiative at a luncheon meeting in Demopolis later this month, making the case that Black Belt students should stay in school, concentrate on math and science and consider a career in forestry as a way of landing a good-paying job that would allow them to stay in their home area.

“The Black Belt Initiative was started to open the eyes of the region’s future employees to the job possibilities in their communities. I’m proud to speak in support of that effort,” Lt. Gov. Ivey said.

A series of meetings are being held across the Black Belt region, designed to inform local leaders and school-aged youth of the opportunities of getting a good education and considering a career in forestry, the largest employer in the region.

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Born and raised in the Black Belt, Ivey has seen the “brain drain” taking place as students obtain advanced training or college degrees, and then leave to seek employment in larger cities outside the region or in other states. Because of her love for the region and her concern about economic development there, Ivey agreed to serve as spokesperson for the BBI because it gives her the opportunity to encourage rural students, including many minorities, to consider good-paying jobs in forestry as a great career that would also allow them to stay in the region.

“The Black Belt Initiative is focused on informing people in the area about the forest industry and how to find a well-paying, family-sustaining job right in their community,” Ivey said. “If students make a commitment to focus on math and science they can compete for well-paying jobs in forest management and engineering, or in the technical trades that serve the industry.”

The BBI Meeting in Demopolis will be held Feb. 27 at noon in the Demopolis Civic Center Ballroom. Additional lunch meetings are planned for Grove Hill, Greenville, Livingston, Selma and Butler.

“I want to encourage community leaders in these cities and towns to attend the meetings and help us get the word to rural students of the good job opportunities right in front of them in the region,” Ivey said.