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Singleton talks workforce development and economic results in BCA address

In a speech Tuesday at the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), state Sen. and Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton said that to continue to advance Alabama's global competitiveness, It outlined the need for inclusive workforce development, equitable economic growth, and significant investment in broadband infrastructure. .

“Thank you for your leadership and all you have done for the state of Alabama in terms of moving our businesses and our state forward,” said Singleton (D-Greensboro).

He is committed to collaborative efforts between the state and organizations such as the BCA to promote balanced regional development and address challenges in underdeveloped areas such as West Alabama, East Alabama, and the urban centers of Montgomery and Birmingham. We conveyed the vitality of our efforts.

A timely effort to advance this in Congress in 2024 creates a common language on workforce development, making it a top priority for leaders in the second half of Congress.

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“Right now, it seems like talent development is going everywhere. We want to target talent development here, see where it is, understand it, and bring talent development to a place where we can better identify it. We need to,” Singleton said.

“Because now you go to a two-year college and go into the workforce, and you come here to AIDT to enter the workforce, and we have no idea what the workforce is. So we have to try and somehow bring the workforce under one umbrella.”

Mr. Singelton spoke about the recent appointment of new Secretary of Commerce Ellen McNair and her commitment to work closely with the department to develop a strategy that moves the state toward comprehensive growth in a regionally equitable manner. We shared our excitement.

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Singleton also disagreed on areas where there was strong agreement between business and legislative leaders this year, including concerns about the growing influence of labor unions in Alabama.

“So if we want our workers to continue to work in these factories and do the jobs that we want, people have to feel comfortable that they're coming. You're talking about a 20-year-old kid who doesn't have the attention span of my grandmother, so my grandfather was like, “I got a job, a high-paying job, I have to quit.'' That's when I felt it. ” Singleton said.

He also urged the audience to take a more active role in the need for Alabama to take advantage of the economic benefits of gaming, which has the potential to generate significant revenue increases. He specifically pointed out that the Senate's changes to the version passed by the House do not provide a legal environment for sports betting.

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“Sports betting is actually a nearly $2 billion industry illegally in this state alone right now, and we don't know about it,” Singleton said. “I think you're also leaving a lot of money on the table from investments, construction costs, stores, retail, everything that goes into what I think is a comprehensive plan.” Destination. Build a game based on. ”

A large portion of Singleton's talk was devoted to the role of broadband infrastructure in achieving economic competitiveness and his pride in the efforts that have been made in recent years to expand broadband access across Alabama.

“There has been a shift in your approach to broadband, and we have taken broadband to the level it is today, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in broadband not only in the middle mile but also in the last mile. Connecting not just homes, but critical institutions. “We are trying to ensure that we are functioning in this new major economy that is coming,” he said.

“So we can attract high-tech jobs to a place where we know the connection is there when we need it. And thank you again, Clay [Scofield] For the work you've done and for paving the way. And we're going to take it to a whole other level. There's nearly $4 billion more that hasn't been touched yet. ”

Grayson Everett is the state and politics editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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