WBHM continues a series of conversations reacting to Blueprint Birmingham. That’s the regional economic development plan announced last week by the Birmingham Business Alliance. It offers a five-year framework for addressing issues from leadership to education to economic growth.
“Birmingham” may be in the title of the plan, but it’s intended to cover a seven county region. Mike Robertson heads the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce. He tells WBHM’s Andrew Yeager it’s not exactly “as Birmingham goes, so goes Chilton County.” But people from his area are connected through jobs, shopping and entertainment.
A portion of the plan deals with education, so we hear from one educator, Gardendale High School Principal Anna Vacca. She tells WBHM’s Andrew Yeager that while Blueprint Birmingham has good concepts, it struck her as very Birmingham-centric.
Johnnie Wyatt is the general manager of the Fairfield Civic Center. He says he feels Blueprint Birmingham is not that different from previous regional planning efforts. Wyatt tells WBHM’s Andrew Yeager he’s skeptical that people will actually work together.
The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists will host a public forum on Blueprint Birmingham on Tuesday, September 28th at 6:00 p.m. Panelists include Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos and area business leaders. The forum will be held in the Alabama Power Auditorium, 600 North 18th Street, Birmingham.
Thursday the Birmingham Business Alliance unveils Blueprint Birmingham. It’s a five year, economic development plan for the Birmingham metro area. BBA Interim President Barry Copeland spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager about Blueprint Birmingham. Copeland says the first of four parts of the plan encourages public and private leaders to collaborate on issues and not “go it alone.” Next, is workforce development.