Training Center money results

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 1999

from hard work by area legislators

A delegation of area state legislators announced a $1 million bond issue Monday to build a training center at Lockheed Martin in Troy.

The funding will provide for construction of the training center at Lockheed Martin and the Southeast Alabama Technology Network. SEAL Network will provide distance learning courses and training for area businesses, school systems and government agencies.

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We commend the work of our elected officials Sen. "Walking" Wendell Mitchell (D.-Luverne), Sen. Jimmy Holley (D.-Elba) and Rep. Alan Boothe (D.-Troy) in getting the funding for the training center.

Their work, along with the cooperation of Randy Stevenson, plant manager of Lockheed Martin’s Troy facility, Doug Patterson, vice chancellor at Troy State University, and Marsha Gaylard, president of Pike County Chamber of Commerce, brought the funding to Troy.

The training center will be used to teach workers and management the skills they need to construct the missiles produced by Lockheed.

Organizers hope it will help bring more industries to Troy, which will mean more jobs for Pike County residents. With a good training center, officials hope jobs will follow.

Although the training center and video conferencing network will be established between Lockheed and TSU, its use will not be limited to the two businesses.

We are appreciative and glad to see the $1 million funding coming to Pike County. It is a good start, and more should be done to promote industry here.

Of the $89 million the legislature funded in the bond issue which mostly provided incentives for the Honda plant in North Alabama, only $1 million came to South Alabama. That is the money Troy received.

While we are ecstatic about getting the facility which is an investment in our future, we are a little concerned about what the numbers show.

Too often, South Alabama is neglected by government in favor of the larger population bases and votes in the northern half of the state – particularly by those who hold state-wide office.

It is up to the governor and the entire legislature to make as much of an effort recruiting and funding industry in South Alabama as they do for North Alabama. If our state is to grow and prosper, more effort needs to be made by government to promote the entire state and not just a portion.