By David Palmer
The Cullman Times
Industrial appreciation night focused on the impact of expansions in the local economy at this year’s event at TP Country Club.
The gathering Tuesday included a brief talk from Joseph Burchfield, economic development specialist with the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“What economic developers really enjoy is working with existing industries. The expansions are a measure of success,” Burchfield said.
Noting that Cullman County enjoyed 44 projects in 2012, 39 of those were expansions, Burchfield said.
“Out of 600 new jobs, 493 of those were from expansions of existing industries in the community. You also saw $249 million in investments from the industrial community,” Burchfield said.
Burchfield’s talk was greeted with a round of applause.
Peggy Smith, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, and Sammie Danford, director of the Cullman County Economic Development Office, expressed their appreciation to the business leaders on hand for the event.
“To each of you here, our purpose is to say thank you,” Smith said. “We’re considered to be pro-business and progressive in Cullman. We feel like we have a great partner base.”
Carl English of Topre also spoke about the formation of Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS), a program that places teachers, students and business leaders together in an educational environment to encourage stronger workforce development.
Included in the CAWS program is Keep It Real, an effort that works with ninth grade students in an effort to show responsibilities and opportunities that await them after school.
Several industries were recognized throughout the appreciation event.
David Palmer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.