Auburn mayor discusses economic development strategy

AUBURN, AL – You can describe it as a collaborative relationship.

Auburn University’s College of Engineering is Alabama’s largest engineering program and GE Aviation a facility in Auburn that produces jet engine components using 3D printing technology.

So, it maybe no shock to hear that two often combine forces.

“The aerospace industry is continuing to grow and GE Aviation I think will be a huge part of our community .. for generations to come for sure,” Auburn Mayor Bill Ham said

Over the past five years existing and new industries like GE on the plains have resulted in the announcement of 1,511 jobs with a capital investment totaling to dollars $493,336,945.

This sort of development can have various impacts on the city’s economy.

“When people have good jobs and make good wages they’re going to spend money and those tax dollars are going to turnover and you know the families are better off,” Mayor Ham said.

From cabinetry companies like Masterbrand to automotive industries like Donghee America there’s a variety of facilities in Auburn that’s created jobs.

Part of Auburn’s strategy in gaining and retaining these industries is recruiting companies that have room to grow.

“Our goal has been to start with companies that would be in the 35 to 50 employee range understanding and knowing that they could grow to 150 or more over a reasonably short period of time,” Mayor Ham

A benefit for Auburn is that the city is right off the I-85 corridor between two state capitols, Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.

But maybe an even larger benefit, Auburn University right in the city’s heart.

It’s a benefit that stretches to the molding of the future workforce.

The city of Auburn was recently highlighted in a Wall Street Journal story about the economic stability of college towns.

You can check out that article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/theres-an-antidote-to-americas-long-economic-malaise-college-towns-1481558522