Black Belt must cash in on assets

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In what has been a very unstable economy, one of the areas considered among the most economically depressed in the state of Alabama has an ace in the hole.

During her visit to Camden Monday, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey discussed the stability of the forestry industry, something we rely heavily on for jobs in the Black Belt.

Ivey pointed out that forestry accounts for 10 percent of the gross domestic product. She also discussed an initiative that will encourage young people to seek jobs in forestry by bringing a positive message about the industry.

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So many times we hear young people say there is no reason for them to come back to the Black Belt once they have finished school because there isn’t as much opportunity as in areas with higher populations.

Forestry is something we can hang our hat on and a job market that can bring our students home when they complete their education.

Unlike some career choices, the Black Belt is the land of opportunity for those who choose to make forestry a career.

Ivey is from the Black Belt. This area is special to her, and she wants to do whatever she can to bring our students home after graduation. Joining Ivey’s effort to stress the opportunities for forestry students is a great way to keep our populations stable and boost the local economy.