top of page

FOR GUMBO'S 2O23 LEGISLATIVE REPORT

2023 PROGRAM OF WORK

TRANS

TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

The continued development of transportation infrastructure is essential for the economic growth of south Baldwin County, the safety of our residents and visitors and the overall prosperity of our state. GUMBO will actively support the development of transportation infrastructure in Baldwin County through state, county and city governments to address our area’s transportation needs.

 

GUMBO will continue to support area transportation projects in coordination with local mayors and other south Baldwin municipal officials, members of the Baldwin County Commission, local legislators and key state officials. GUMBO supports not just one project, but works to develop multiple transportation routes identified and approved by local leaders in coordination with the State Department of Transportation. Specifically, GUMBO will work to:

 

  • Extend the Baldwin Beach Express from I-10 to I-65 to provide direct access to our coastal communities and the Baldwin County Megasite in order to facilitate growth and development throughout Baldwin County.

 

  • Facilitate conversations and explore options with state and local leaders to build additional north/south transportation routes to the beach with specific attention to reducing congestion on Highway 59.

 

  • Coordinate with the City of Orange Beach to construct additional transportation routes across Wolf Bay to enhance economic development and provide an additional hurricane evacuation route.

 

  • Support the City of Foley in their effort to require the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to assume the responsibility to perform maintenance on the Foley Beach Express.

 

  • Work with all interested parties including the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and our partners in Mobile to build a new bridge over Mobile Bay to enhance the movement of traffic related to tourism and the overall south Alabama economy.

 

TOURISM SUSTAINABILITY AND GROWTH

Gulf Coast tourism is vital to south Alabama and plays a huge, positive role in Alabama’s overall economy. GUMBO is committed to working with local elected officials and key statewide government leaders to achieve continued growth and development of Alabama’s gulf coast tourism economy. 

 

  • Engage with a wide range of stakeholders including the Baldwin County legislative delegation, legislative leaders in the House and Senate, economic development professionals, the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Alabama Tourism Department to ensure that language to incentivize large tourism destination projects remains in Alabama law.

 

  • Work to protect funding sources for the Alabama Tourism Department and continue to work with the Ivey Administration to ensure that appropriate resources are devoted to the promotion of Alabama as an attractive tourism destination.  

 

  • Work to quantify tourism’s overall economic impact as a key driver supporting the overall economic prosperity of the region. The result will inform a working partnership that unites tourism, economic development and area Chambers of Commerce efforts, optimizing the performance and impact, and amplifying the broader community messaging of all these partners to positively impact Baldwin County.  

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The local workforce in Baldwin County is at least 2500 people short of meeting peek season employment needs, reflecting a crisis of available labor. Nationally, labor force participation is approximately 60% with Alabama falling even further behind at close to 55%. GUMBO supports the development of a South Baldwin Workforce Campus to provide training/education, transportation, child care and housing to make a permanent impact on this critical issue.

 

  • Work to create a transportation hub providing fixed routes to key employers and the South Baldwin Workforce Campus using BRATS.

 

  • Create an Education and Training Center with Business and Restaurant Incubator.

 

  • Provide an extended hour childcare facility to assist working parents with child care so that they can enter into and successfully participate in the tourism economy.

 

  • Expand and improve existing childcare facilities in South Baldwin County to create openings for approximately 2,000 more children.

EDUCATION

GUMBO supports development of schools and educational institutions in south Baldwin County at the highest standard, through the Baldwin County school system and new, local systems. GUMBO supports bold, new approaches to address educational challenges in Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

 

  • Support legislation to create a statewide school start date that would take into account the economic impact of the tourism-based economy throughout our state while also providing for the proper education of Alabama school aged children.

 

  • Oppose legislation that would increase the population or institute additional financial requirements for the creation of new school systems.

  • Support youth and adult apprenticeship programs through the “Gateway Initiative” to enhance the opportunity for individuals to gain valuable job skills as they further their education at the local level.

  • Support legislation to revise the State of Alabama Foundation Program to ensure a more equitable and appropriate distribution of education taxes and revenues back to “donor” counties in Alabama such as Baldwin.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

GUMBO supports the continued growth, diversification and development of the economy of Baldwin County and the State of Alabama thereby providing enhanced economic opportunity for our all our citizens.

 

  • Protect and improve key elements of the Alabama Tourism Economic Incentive legislation to ensure that large tourism projects are included in our state’s overall economic development strategies.

 

  • Support the Baldwin County Workforce Development Campus by working with local Chambers of Commerce and tourism executives to develop this initiative at the local, state and federal levels.

 

  • Work with local economic development and community leaders to support  the Baldwin County economic development Megasite to provide jobs and economic opportunity for the citizens of Baldwin County and lower Alabama.

 

DIRECT POLITICIAL ACTION

GUMBO understands and is fully committed to active, direct participation in the political process through GUMBOPAC,

the official political action committee of Gulf United Metro Business Organization (GUMBO).

 

  • Host an annual Chairman’s Dinner in support of GUMBOPAC in 2023 to ensure that GUMBO will have sufficient resources needed to actively and effectively participate in the political process.

 

  • Support candidates for the Alabama legislature from Baldwin County who understand the importance of tourism to our local economy and who share our vision for the future growth and development of our community and state.

 

  • Support candidates for the Baldwin County Commission who will work with other local elected officials and statewide office holders to improve transportation infrastructure and address other key issues that impact Baldwin County.

 

  • Reach out to and support legislative leaders from across our state and other statewide elected officials who understand the importance of the tourism economy in Baldwin County and the positive impact it has on the state of Alabama.

TOURISM
WORKFORCE
EDUCATION
ECONOMIC
POLITICAL

FOR GUMBO'S 2O22 YEAR END UPDATE

bottom of page