Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks to members of Gadsden Rotary Club

Gov. Kay Ivey spoke to members of the Gadsden Rotary Club on Thursday, citing her administration’s focus on education and human development, as well as some things the Gadsden area has to brag about.

Ivey, who is seeking her second term as governor, said at a recent state education committee meeting that an important vote had taken place to focus on closing the gap between the state’s graduation rate and its college/career readiness rate. While the graduation rate was 92%, she said, the readiness rate was 76%.

“We need to prepare students for the jobs of the future,” Ivey said.

She said schools in Alabama would focus on reading, writing, math, science, etc.

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“We’re changing the way we look at the foundations of education,” the governor said, citing education as the most important issue facing the state. “Our students are the reason I’m running for a second semester.”

Ivey said more than $32 billion has been invested in Alabama and more than 65,000 new jobs have been created since she became governor. The state’s unemployment rate is at a historic 2.6%, she said, but “we’re still seeing signs that help is being sought.”

“Every industry needs more people to fill jobs, plain and simple,” she said.

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Human resource development will be a top priority for your administration. “It’s important to think not just about the jobs available today,” she said, “but also about the jobs that companies will bring to Gadsden and the state in the years to come.

“We have big goals,” Ivey said, “like my Success Plus plan to add 500,000 more Alabamaans with new skills to our workforce by 2025.”

Since 2018, 200,000 have been added, “on the right track to reaching the goal,” she said.

Ivey said her government is also committed to improving broadband Internet access statewide, strengthening public safety and easing the strain on the wallets of Alabama residents.

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She noted the importance of strong local leadership and community support.

“Here in Gadsden there are a few things to brag about,” Ivey said, “like the Little Canoe Creek mega-site. I know you appreciate this site.”

She said it’s a big part of recruiting great companies with high-paying jobs in the area.

“It’s people like my friend David Hooks that have a lot of influence in this area of ​​the state,” Ivey said through his leadership at the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority.

“Your success here at Gadsden is the success of the state,” Ivey said.

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