Governor Robert Bentley was the key speaker at Butler County's 2nd Annual Industry Appreciation Luncheon and he says expanding industry starts with education.
The Butler County Commission for Economic Development honored employers to thank them for bringing jobs to the county. And Bentley says this year, Alabama has focused on a relationship between business, industry, and education, "We can not expect new companies to come, we can not expect you as companies to expand, if you can't have either a trained or trainable worker."
With programs like career coaching, Butler County is preparing students for the workforce starting as early as ninth grade.
Bentley says in 2014, the Governor's Office is going to make sure that new businesses will have a trainable workforce, to encourage new industry in rural counties, "Make sure that our high schools are prepared as far as equipment that may be needed for workforce training."
The Butler County Commission for Economic Development says that because nearly 80% of new jobs in the county come from existing industries, they wanted to show their appreciation for what the businesses do, and encourage expansion.
They also say the unemployment rate in Butler County has dropped nearly 1.5% in the past year.