14 counties in Alabama: Madison, Marshall, Jackson, Morgan, Lawrence, Cullman, Limestone, Colbert, Lauderdale, Dekalb, Blount, Winston, Marion, Franklin
Nine county in Tennessee: Lincoln, Franklin, Giles, Marshall, Lawrence, Marion, Maury, Lewis, Wayne
Target Industries: Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Engineering, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Healthcare
Under the direction of Calhoun Community College, the Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee Region is working to become the innovation powerhouse of the Southeastern United States. The community college, along with other regional partners, has plans to bring the economic success of large cities like Huntsville to the small, rural towns of the region.
The collaborative effort will: establish a Regional One-Stop Economic Development Center; provide training for high school counselors and faculty geared toward talent development; and work with local programs like Junior Achievement and Tech Prep to provide local students with real world training.
As a 2nd Generation WIRED region, Calhoun Community College, state and local leaders seek to foster workforce preparedness in the region's high-growth fields - biotechnology, nanotechnology, engineering, information technology, manufacturing and healthcare. Through partnerships and integration, this region plans to increase the number of people with the necessary skills common to all these fields while providing guidance and support for workers ready to advance to more skilled and degreed positions.
Additionally, the Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee Valley 2nd Generation WIRED region will play a major role in a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which could yield an additional 10,000 jobs for the region by 2012; thus, innovative strategies will need to be implemented to ensure a sufficient, skilled workforce.