BIRMINGHAM, AL -
Gov. Robert Bentley is keeping his focus on jobs and economic growth.
Today, Bentley gave his annual address to the Birmingham Business Alliance during their sold-out Governor's Luncheon. There, he talked about the current state of the economy and what he's doing to attract more business to Alabama.
The overall economy in Alabama has improved in recent years. And, in Bentley's speech today, he highlighted the possibility of even more improvement in the future.
In a room full of job creators, Bentley's focus was job creation.
In Jefferson County, the governor says job opportunities are on the rise despite the county's bankruptcy.
"In 2012, 3800 jobs had been created in this area. So it has not totally stopped creation of jobs," he said.
With Jefferson County moving out of bankruptcy, the governor says he thinks the future is bright for this area.
"I just believe that once that cloud is removed, then companies will begin to look at Jefferson County more favorably and that we'll see more and more jobs come to this area," Bentley explained.
Statewide, he remains optimistic, as well. In his address, he revealed the he is actively working on a development that could bring hundreds of jobs to Alabama.
"Well we did have a meeting with Boeing," he revealed. "Boeing is looking at different parts of the country. Alabama is certainly one of the states they're looking at."
According to Bentley, the Boeing company is looking at the possibility of building their 777-X aircraft in the Huntsville area. The company is still considering other states, but Bentley says Alabama is certainly on their list.
Across the state, he says job opportunities have improved. But not quite enough for Bentley to agree to taking a paycheck.
"If it [unemployment] hits 5.2 percent, I feel I'll be obligated to take a salary. But if it does not, even if I'm reelected, I still will not take a salary until it reaches that level," he said.
With the current unemployment rate at 6.3 percent, there's still progress to be made before the governor gets paid.
As far as when we could see Boeing Company set up shop in Huntsville, reports indicate that the company plans to make a decision on where they'll produce their new aircraft in the next two to three months.