Chamber in Session: State of the State
May 16, 2018, 11:40am
The Chamber in Session: State of the State was held on May 15, 2018 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The Welcome and Introductions were done by Blake Madison who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and works at Rosen Harwood, P.A. Sontonia Stephens did the invocation. Sontonia works at the Community Service Programs of West Alabama. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. Lunch was served and Clay Ryan introduced Governor Kay Ivey. Clay Ryan is Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs of The University of Alabama System. Governor Kay Ivey then began her Keynote Address.
Governor Ivey spoke about changes she has made for the state of Alabama while she has been governor. She has worked closely with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and local officials during six weather related States of Emergency and has successfully improved the state's communication and response to natural disasters. Governor Ivey said that Alabama's economy is performing well with unemployment down, revenues are up and economic development is on the rise. Since she became governor, over $3.5 billion dollars in new direct investments have been committed in the state. These investments have created nearly 8,000 new jobs for Alabama workers. The most recent unemployment numbers put the unemployment rate at 3.5 percent which is the lowest rate ever recorded in Alabama! Governor Ivey spoke about her Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative which improves education all the way from Pre-K to the workforce. She spoke briefly about her General Fund Budget project which is working to help the state fund government appropriately.
This event was presented by The University of Alabama System. The Gold Sponsors were Embassy Suites of Downtown Tuscaloosa, and Teklinks.
Table Sponsors were Adams Beverages, Inc., Bryant Bank, Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Core Focus Personnel, LLC, Fitts Agency, Inc., FNB of Central Alabama, JamisonMoneyFarmer PC, McAbee Construction, Inc., Mercedes-Benz U.S International, Inc., Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa, Inc., Raymond James & Associates, Shelton State Community College, SmartBank, The Locker Room, The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, TTL, Inc., Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and Tuscaloosa County Board of Education.
Closing remarks were spoken by Blake Madison. Following the State of the State convention, Governor Ivey spoke to the local news stations for Tuscaloosa. These stations included: WVUA23, Tuscaloosa News, and WIAT.