Growth Issue: Economy and Workforce
A healthy and resilient regional economy relies on diversity: a wide variety of industries and employers to provide stability, and a wide variety of employees to fill those jobs and to spur innovation. Ensuring a range of industries and the people to support them is key to maintaining and advancing Huntsville’s economic vitality.
(Image credit: Perkins + Will)
Diversifying what we do. Redstone Arsenal – the single largest employment center in the region – has been proactively adding agencies, to the point that the Team Redstone Guidebook describes the facility as a “federal office park.” Off-post, defense and aerospace will continue to be huge parts of our economic core, but Huntsville has added sectors like biotech, advanced manufacturing, recreation… and even craft brewing.
Small businesses and entrepreneurship. Industry diversity isn’t just about the types of work or products. It’s also about the size and makeup of the businesses. Having a local environment that nurtures small business and encourages risk-taking and innovation is incredibly important, not just to develop a broad base for the economy, but also to attract and retain creative talent.
The new infrastructure. Infrastructure has always been a driver of economic development. Good roads/power/water/sewer attract quality growth. In the modern economy, fiber internet infrastructure can be added to that list. No longer considered a bonus, the ability to move data at high speeds is a “must” for a competitive city.
21st century workforce. To support the businesses in Huntsville, to attract new ones, and to develop our own, a deep and skilled workforce is essential. Part of that challenge lies with drawing talent to the region, but just as important a piece is educating our own talent. To do that, it will be necessary to continue the support and growth of our school system, and to ensure our colleges and universities are deeply connected to the fabric of the community.
Last modified: April 20th, 2018 at 8:26 am