Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who is running for re-election this year, told the state’s economic developers that under her leadership, Alabama has attracted $25 billion in new capital investments and created 50,000 new jobs. Ivey made the comments at a luncheon last week during the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA)’s winter conference.

Ivey stressed the resilience of Alabama’s economy, her focus on recruiting industries – including high-tech jobs – to rural Alabama, as well as what she calls her laser focus on the state’s workforce development efforts.

"We’ve experienced record low unemployment," Ivey said. "And by working together, we’ve created the most successful, robust economy in the history of the state of Alabama – making our state the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Ivey said throughout the pandemic, Alabama has been resilient and has continued to run "at full speed."

“Despite the curveballs we have been thrown, our economic development efforts in Alabama’s rural counties have continued to produce remarkable outcomes," Ivey said. "In 2020 and 2021, we brought in over $1.5 billion in new investment to our rural areas, along with an estimated 3,000 jobs. It’s also worth noting that since the Alabama Jobs Act went into effect in July 2015, 56 projects involving incentives have brought $4.3 billion in new capital investment and more than 6,000 new jobs to what we call our ‘targeted’ and ‘jumpstart’ counties.”

When it comes to industry, Ivey said the state is setting an example. She said jobs created here are not limited to traditional out-of-city-limits industries.

"Back in December, I had the opportunity to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for an IT company in Brewton, Alabama," Ivey said. "Yes, you all heard that correctly – an IT firm in Brewton, Alabama. With a population of just over 5,000, Brewton probably isn’t the first place you would expect to find jobs in software development and website design."

Provalus, the company Ivey was referring to, will bring 200 new jobs to Escambia County. 

Ivey said, "In the last five years, foreign investment in Alabama’s rural counties has exceeded $1.5 billion and generated over 4,300 new jobs.”

An estimated 300 economic developers were in attendance at the luncheon. The EDAA awarded Cullman’s Peggy Smith with the David R. Echols Award.

Ivey faces competitive gubernatorial primary fundraising field

Ivey was elevated to governor in 2017 when then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned. In 2018 she was elected to her own term as governor. She is seeking re-election in the 2022 election.

The major party primaries are on May 24.

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