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Why St. Clair County is on an economic development hot streak

Friday, September 19, 2014

Article by Birmingham Business Journal

St. Clair County is one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama, but it did not get its current momentum by accident.

The St. Clair Economic Development Council, since its creation in 1999, has worked to establish links between elected officials in a county separated by a mountain, with multiple municipalities.

These relationships have resulted in a string of economic development wins for St. Clair, especially in the first seven months of 2014.

We caught up with EDC chairman Don Smith and project manager Jason Roberts this week to find out what the county is doing right and how the future shapes up for the growing community.

On economic development strategy

We continue to work with our existing companies. We're not an organization that's going to go after a mega project. We've got a mega project right next door to us in Honda. They're one of the largest employers of citizens in St. Clair County, even though they're not in St. Clair County. But what we like to focus on are the small to medium size companies that have great growth potential. Instead of us spending all of our community's resources on just one project, we would much rather focus on helping 20 or 25 companies continue to grow and making sure our community has a business environment that promotes growth.

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