Dr. David Campbell, President of Northeast Alabama Community College, has been reappointed to the Jackson County Economic Development Authority Board. Senator Steve Livingston (R-District 8) made the appointment.
“I am honored and pleased to serve on the EDA Board again,” Campbell stated. “With Northeast and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) involved in so much workforce training, being on the EDA Board provides some great contacts and perspectives on what the community economic and workforce needs are. I very much appreciate Senator Livingston reappointing me to the Board.”
Campbell has been on the board since 2008 and now serves as chair. Campbell states that a highlight of his service on the board was to help bring the $600 billion Widow’s Creek Google Data Center to Jackson County. Google is near opening its first data center at the Bridgeport location, and indications are that other Google data centers will follow at the site.
“The board is equally as proud of being able to help a small industry expand in the county as well,” Campbell stated. “It’s the smaller specialized companies that are the backbone of Jackson County’s economy. Their expansions added together create a substantial number of jobs in our area. It is always great to see a local company expand. They have grown into larger companies as well. Maples Industries, for example is by far the largest employer in the county.”
The EDA also is involved in providing workforce educational and training projects for area youth. “Career Tech occupations offer tremendous opportunity to young people as well as those who are older. Some of the best paying jobs in the country are now these career tech jobs. EDA along with many other agencies, schools, and the college try to make people, particularly youth, more and more aware of these opportunities.”
Recently, EDA sold its 66,000 square feet Spec Building to the Jackson County Board of Education. The Jackson County Board of Education is relocating its Technical/Vocational School (Earnest Pruett Center of Technology) to the Spec Building and adjoining grounds. “I think that this is just a great idea on the part of the Jackson County Board,” Campbell stated. “The Center will be state-of-the-art and be able to help prepare workforce for most any future industry that locates in the Industrial Park or Jackson County.” Campbell noted that aviation is a prime growth area in Alabama and that he and other city and county officials have been working with fellow board member Rudder Williams to develop some possible aviation repair/maintenance plant facilities at the Scottsboro Airport.
Mrs. Shelia Shepherd serves as the President/CEO of the EDA and Mr. Nathan Lee is the Project Manager. Board members including Campbell are Tommy Harding (Vice President), Rudder Williams (Secretary), Bruce Purdy (Treasurer), Jim Green, A. J. Buckner, and Philip Thompson. Individual EDA Board members are appointed by State Legislators and the Jackson County Commission.
Campbell thanked Senator Livingston for the appointment and stated: “Senator Livingston greatly understands the importance of economic development in our area. He supports board projects to the fullest and wants to see more good-paying jobs for people in his district. He has become very influential in Montgomery.”
In addition to serving on the EDA Board, Campbell also is the chair of the DeKalb-Jackson Industrial Development Board. This Board oversees the Technology Park adjacent to the campus of Northeast. Parts of the park are certified as Site Ready for Data Center Development and an Alabama Advantage Site Ready for Development.
“We hope to attract industry to this Technology Park that will be compatible with workforce training at the college,” Campbell stated. “This too could provide our area with some economic development opportunities.” Campbell noted that the Alabama Community College System is setting up regional workforce networks, which will help even more with training and economic development.
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