Rural Alabama receives $ 495,000 from USDA to boost economic growth-Yellowhammer News

Harbor knew he was a stranger in a strange land. He had never visited until Alabama Governor Kay Ivy looked for his employer, Kay Ivy. Hoover Institution, Stanford University Public Policy Think Tank, Alabama Innovation Commission. Ivey created a committee in July 2020 to find ways to increase the state’s economic prosperity through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation.

Harbor, principal investigator at Hoover and Helen Bin, and chief advisor to the committee, spoke about her hiking misfortune in a recent Hoover podcast. “Politics and Political Issues: Sweet Home Alabama”. He shared a story to explain Alabama’s strengths that many outsiders don’t know about – proving that the strengths he believes in are worth it because the state is positioning itself to take advantage of the country’s economy. innovation. Do.

“I’m originally from New York and I’m not known for our hospitality,” Harbor told the podcast host. Bill Hollen, Virginia Hobbes Carpenter, was a leading scholar of Hobbes politics and journalism, laughing in between. “If you’re a little in a bad mood that’s fine, but the people of Alabama embarrassed us to make people feel welcome.”

Beyond the elegance of Alabama, Harbor said, he was in awe of the beauty of the state.

From deciduous beaches to karst terrain with limestone cliffs and rolling hills in the upper two-thirds of the state, “Beautiful Alabama” has other perks.

“For example, for those who are rock climbers, this is paradise,” Harbor said. “For a road cyclist like me this is paradise because if you are a cyclist you can’t beat a gentle slope. It also proclaimed Alabama’s “paradise” for golfers and bird watching. do.

“Frontier of the innovation economy”

Mr. Harbor said the third trump card is that Alabama leaders “have found an opportunity for the state to move to the frontier of the innovation economy … and they are paying close attention to it.”

“For me, who grew up in New York and lived in the West for 35 years, these are all big surprises,” he said.

The rest of the staff at Harbor and Hoover Institution will take advantage of state assets as Alabama aims to “build the infrastructure for the next technological revolution to take place in Alabama rather than elsewhere.” Is working.

Whalen said the stakes are “very personal” for at least one staff member at the Hoover Institution. Condoleezza Rice Born in Birmingham, former US Secretary of State and member of the Advisory Board of the Innovation Commission. “She’s also passionate about it,” he said.

The Innovation Commission has already had a significant impact on its work since its first meeting in August 2020. Approved by Parliament, Ivy signed the Commission’s priority bill from the interim recommendations and created Alabama Innovation Corporation to accelerate the growth of public innovation. A state matching program for small businesses funded by the federal government to stimulate the economy and innovation.

Zeke Smith, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Innovation Commission, commended the Commission and the legislature for the priority bill legislation.

“As Alabama leverages innovation to stimulate the economy, they have laid the groundwork for further success. The Hoover Institution has already played a valuable role in the activities of the Commission and made final recommendations. I can’t wait to be there, ”Smith, Alabama Power’s vice president of foreign affairs, said following the podcast.

Hoover joined the state’s efforts in December 2020, and his work and resulting recommendations will be part of the commission’s report to the governor and the legislature scheduled for October. Hoover focuses on making data-driven policy recommendations in four areas:

Business incentives and prosperity. Hoover researchers appreciate the state’s current incentives to attract business and what works and what doesn’t in incentive programs across the country.

Development of broadband education. McKeleymond of Hoover The director of the Center for Educational Achievement Research (CREDO) at Stanford University has studied the current state and potential of broadband across Alabama and has led K-12 schools, particularly STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, Arithmetic).

Promote the role of the university. Hoover works with professors and senior executives at the University of Alabama to study some of the most productive innovation economies in the United States, including Silicon Valley in California, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, and the Highway 128 in the Boston area. ..

Outdoor recreation laboratory. It’s a baby in the harbor. As a result, he got lost in work, hiking and biking during his visit to Alabama. Harbor and the group envision outdoor recreation in Alabama as a recruiting tool with the potential to grow their own economy.

“The general impetus for Hoover’s work on the Alabama Innovation Commission is to focus on attracting people from the state and restricting college graduates so that the market economy does not produce no products yet. It didn’t exist or people had imagined it, ”Harbor said.

He said the key to achieving this was to bring the state closer to the “frontier of new industries.”

“Adapted infrastructures”

“It means bringing people with a very well-developed complementary skill set into the state, but to do that Alabama needs the right infrastructure. Broadband infrastructure is needed. We need a well-trained workforce, education from kindergarten to high school, ”says Harbor. “Especially for university professors to turn scientific or technical research into commercial products, they need legal infrastructure and outdoor recreation infrastructure.”

A 21NOT. The innovation ecosystem of the century must be able to attract and retain highly skilled people, Harbor said.

“I watch people from my daughter’s generation and what they want to know is what to do on weekends and after work. Can I go kayaking? Canoe Kayak ? Can I go mountain biking? Can I go rock climbing? Can I make the raft a torrent? Can I go hiking? Can I camp? Can i surf?

“These are ways of attracting highly qualified people. Young people are particularly used to the outdoor environment and the recreational possibilities it offers, ”he said. “So I think it’s a necessary part of a successful ecosystem.”

Improving outdoor recreation in Alabama also grows small businesses that create jobs and serve the industry. Harbor cited Joe Farm, who has raised more than three generations of Black Angus cattle on 200 acres near Greensboro, Hale County. Christopher Joe Launches Bird Connect & Nature Tours Business Invite Bird Watching to a Family Farm.

“He knew there was a demand for outdoor recreation and started a business aimed at earning a portion of their income to maintain his farm,” Harbor said.

With the growth of the outdoor recreation industry, Harbor wants universities to unleash the power of professors to start and grow their businesses. But policymakers need to ease regulations that hinder entrepreneurship.

He cited the preferred example of Irwin Jacobs, professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and transferred to the University of California at San Diego. Within two years, Jacobs founded the first startup, and about 12 years later, according to Harbor. Qualcomm, “Of course that’s now powering every smartphone on the planet.”

Qualcomm has grown into a $ 25 billion company with 30,000 employees, Harbor said.

“But that only happened if there were proper rules, a legal infrastructure in place to allow someone like Jacobs to go back and forth between the classroom and their own startup,” a- he declared. I did.

Fertile environment

In other words, few startups have the potential to become Qualcomm, but the state is of high quality to create a fertile environment for the growth of the innovation economy and for retaining and attracting highly skilled workers. If you don’t make a living, it won’t happen. The economy must flourish.

Harbor says innovation and economic development are “not events. They are processes. That is, while remarkable progress has been made in the short term, “there are now infrastructure issues, including legal infrastructure. You can move something with wise decisions, but it will happen on a scale of decades, not months or years. “

Mr Warren said Hoover’s role on the committee was to lay the groundwork for what was to come, and think tanks have historically “done little in state government.” … This is one of the things that intrigues me. If the state is an institute of democracy, they are also an institute of innovation. “

Harbor acknowledged that Alabama was Hoover’s first attempt to cooperate with the state government on politics.

“I don’t think this is the last,” he said. “In speaking with Condoleezza Rice about this, we share the view that many of the problems and challenges that the United States faces will in fact be resolved at the state and local levels, not the federal level. Do.”

According to Harbor, working at the state and local levels is easy, and change happens faster than at the federal level.

“It also offers the opportunity to get to know people and regions that could not otherwise be engaged out of pure self-interest and joy. “

Whalen replied, “And in this case the people are very nice and in a great location for hiking and biking.”

“It’s especially great to do that,” Harbor said.

(Provided by the Alabama News Center).

Rural Alabama receives $ 495,000 from USDA to boost economic growth-Yellowhammer News

Source Link Rural Alabama Receives $ 495,000 From USDA To Boost Economic Growth-Yellowhammer News

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