From the Office of Governor Robert Bentley
MONTGOMERY – With the first anniversary of the April 27th tornadoes approaching, First Lady Dianne Bentley today joined with representatives from Safe America Foundation, Verizon Wireless, and Ready Alabama, to release a public service announcement regarding a way to prepare Alabamians for future emergencies.
“Text First, Talk Second” is an initiative that encourages people to text one another during the aftermath of severe weather or a disaster in the hopes of keeping phone lines free for the most urgent of calls. This is because non-essential calls often shut down wireless phone service and prevent 911 calls from getting through. Non-essential calls can also prevent emergency personnel from being able to communicate with each other. In fact, just a single one-minute phone call takes up the same bandwidth as 800 short SMS text messages.
Also, unlike phone calls, text messages can get through to people, even when networks are congested. Also, even if it gets a “busy signal” on its first try, the text system will continue to try to deliver your message. This makes text messaging perfect for sending messages like “R U OK?” and “I M OK.”
“After the storms ravaged Alabama last spring, we all realize the importance of having an established plan in place for safety,” Mrs. Bentley said. “Together with Safe America, I am promoting the ‘Text First, Talk Second’ campaign, a program that utilizes text technology to contact loved ones during emergency situations. A text message will go through before a call, so if my generation and others will learn to text, not only will we be able to reach one another sooner, we will also keep phone lines open for other emergency calls.”
The Safe America Foundation was chartered in 1994 to partner with corporate, government, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits, to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide. Preparedness for a national catastrophe, whether manmade or natural, took on a new meaning after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the foundation responded to meet the needs of Americans.
Safe America seeks to build truly safer communities by forming public/private partnerships that can rapidly respond to emerging critical issues and to protect Americans from future disasters through common preparedness. CEO Len Pagano said texting is the most efficient means of communicating during a disaster, especially when phone lines may be busy or down.
“In today’s environment, where emergencies seem to be always around the corner, it’s critical for people to be prepared to stay in touch when phones lines are overtaxed,” Pagano said. “Texting is a good alternative to voice communications and is 800 times more likely to connect you. That’s why we’ve made it such an important part of our Foundation’s preparedness messaging.”
Verizon Wireless, which has partnered with Mrs. Bentley on a prior public service project, has a dedicated commitment to Alabama’s storm recovery. A corporate sponsor of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham’s Bama Rising Fund for Tornado Recovery, Verizon Wireless saw “Text First, Talk Second” as a perfect opportunity to further its community support.
“Verizon Wireless works year-round to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies so our customers can count on their wireless service when they need it most,” said Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama region, Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be working with First Lady Bentley to help Alabamians know how to best communicate with each other in the midst of a crisis.”
Jon Mason, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, believes that by partnering with Safe America, Alabamians can practice more efficient means of coordinating an emergency response.
“The confusion immediately following disasters can lead to misinformation and slower response times for those in need,” Mason said. “By communicating with your friends and family by text instead of a call, you can help first responders and volunteer groups serve more survivors.”
The public service announcement is available on the FTP site http://bit.ly/Jbc4qo
Right click on the version needed, and download it to a desktop or computer for replay.
The public service announcement should run through April 30, 2012.
Tuberville: “There is no doubt. We have got to play football”
Former Auburn head football coach and GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville said “we have got to play football” in an interview on Fox News when host Dana Perino asked Tuberville if college football should be played this year.
“Oh, there is no doubt, Dana, we have got to play football,” Tuberville said. “I know this is serious. The virus is serious. I have had friends sick in intensive care. I have actually lost a friend.”
“Let me tell you for every one person that has been sick 33 people in this country have been affected economically, socially, mentally,” Tuberville added. “We have got to get back to a normal life. We put men on the moon. We have got to be able to put our kids in a school, keep ’em protected, be socially responsible; but we have got to get back to school and a normal life.”
Tuberville warned that if we don’t get back to normal life, “our kids are the ones who are going to be affected if we don’t get back to playing football and sports and learning from each other.”
Perino asked if college athletes should be in some sort of a bubble like the NBA or Major League Baseball.
“Dana, what you got to remember is that high school kids and college kids all summer have been working with each other against each other dressing in dressing rooms,” Tuberville explained. “They have been around each other. It is like a big family. There is nobody more protected than college athletes and really high school athletes. They have got doctors. They have got ways to wash their clothes that are disinfected.”
Tuberville said that sports teams are used to dealing with infectious diseases.
“We always have to fight the flu,” Tuberville said. “He had to fight staph infections. Those things are going to be there. They are going to be there forever.”
“We have got to fight back against this virus,” Tuberville said. “If it hits us hard we have got to take a step forward, and we can’t keep moving backward. What if this thing is still with us three years from now? We have got to move this country forward and what better way than to go back to school. Protect our kids.”
“If you don’t what to go to school, you don’t have to go,” Tuberville said. “Same thing with football. If you don’t want to play you don’t have to play.”
“We have to get back to a normal life, but protection is the number one key,” Tuberville said. “And people are going to get infected and we can’t back up from it. Take em out like we did when I coached.”
Tuberville is the former head coach at Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati.
The Ivy League, Big 10, MAC, PAC 12, SWAC and Mountain West Conferences have all voted to postpone the 2020 college football season to the spring. Many college football analysts are skeptical that there will ever be a spring season. That would mean play 22 college football games in one calendar year dramatically increasing injury risk.
The SEC, Big 12, and ACC have all announced their intention is to move forward with the college football season.
Tuberville on social media has slammed his opponent, incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, for not voicing his support for playing football this fall.
“By not voicing support for providing teams that want to play with the opportunity to play, Doug Jones has once again failed to stand with the beliefs and desires that most Alabamians hold,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville and Jones will be on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot.
ArcelorMittal announces expansion of Mobile County steel plant
ArcelorMittal announced its intention to build an Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking facility at AM/NS Calvert. Once the new furnace is completed, the planned facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million metric tonnes of steel slabs for the Hot Strip Mill and producing a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end-user markets.
Construction on the project is expected to take 24 months and the new facility is anticipated to produce an additional 300 jobs.
“An electric arc furnace at Calvert makes strategic sense as it allows our asset to be more reactive to the local market as well as being in line with the USMCA,” said Lakshmi Mittal, the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, referring to the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement on trade which replaced NAFTA. ”Furthermore, it aligns with our ambition of producing smarter steels for a better world.”
Brad Davey is the CEO of ArcelorMittal North America.
“The addition of an EAF at AM/NS Calvert presents a transformational opportunity for what is already widely considered to be the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility,” Davey said. “This is a logical next step in optimizing AM/NS Calvert’s supply chain. Enhancing our already highly competitive lead times with short lead-time flexibility, combined with our existing world class facilities will give AM/NS Calvert a decisive competitive advantage.”
“In addition, the USMCA trade agreement is a ‘game changer’ for former NAFTA and as a result, future steel supply chains for the automotive markets will be required to use steel that was created within North America,” Davey explained. “A new EAF at AM/NS Calvert will further secure ArcelorMittal’s leadership in the North American Automotive market.”
“Alabama has a long heritage in steelmaking, and the decision by AM/NS Calvert to invest more than $500 million at its Mobile County mill represents another important development in the history of the industry in the state,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “The growth will help the company serve customers in industries such as automotive with great ‘Made in Alabama’ steel.”
Economic developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “The United States Mexica Canada trade agreement is a historic accomplishment by the Trump Administration on behalf of the American Worker that serves as a catalyst for job creation and new investments.”
“In Alabama, we are witnessing immediate results from terms outlined in the USMCA, specifically the requirement for the automobile industry to utilize more steel made in North America, with ArcelorMittal’s announcement,” Jones added. “ArcelorMittal chose to construct a new electric arc furnace steelmaking facility at its AM/NS mill in Calvert, Alabama. Metals and advanced materials is one of our state’s dominant industries. Alabama Department of Commerce data from 2018 shows that primary metal manufacturing exports valued at nearly $1.6 billion, and fabricated metal manufacturing exports valued at $382 million. The direct and indirect jobs resulting from this project will provide significant economic benefits for South Alabama and our entire state.”
AM/NS Calvert is already the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility and further demonstrates the highly successful partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel Corporation.
AM/NS Calvert was originally built by Thyssenkrupp, with a total investment cost of $4 billion. The plant was acquired by ArcelorMittal and NSC as a 50:50 joint venture in 2014. The joint venture has already invested more than $200 million into strategic projects in Calvert since its acquisition.
These capabilities combined with the geographic location and the new electric arc furnace will position the facility well for meeting the automotive and energy market demand well into the future.
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company. It has a presence in 60 countries and operates steelmaking facilities in 18 countries. In 2019, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $70.6 billion and crude steel production of 89.8 million metric tonnes, while iron ore production reached 57.1 million metric tonnes.
ArcelorMittal says that their goal is to help build a better world with smarter steels. Steels made using innovative processes which use less energy, emit significantly less carbon and reduce costs. Steels that are cleaner, stronger and reusable. Steels for electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure that will support societies as they transform through this century.
Business Facilities Magazine ranks Alabama No. 4 for business climate
Alabama received high rankings for its workforce development programs and auto manufacturing strength in a new report from Business Facilities magazine, which also picked Birmingham and Huntsville as top cities for business climate.
This is the 16th installment of Business Facilities’ Annual State and Metro Rankings Report. The magazine ranked Birmingham/Hoover as the No. 1 mid-sized metro area for its business climate and Huntsville was No. 1 among small-sized metros.
Overall, Alabama ranked No. 4 for its business climate.
“Alabama’s economic development team will continue to work tirelessly to recruit high-caliber companies, and this ranking is another testament to the advantages that our state possesses for businesses across the globe,” said Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “One of those key advantages is our workforce training programs, which are a key component of the support system we have in place in Alabama to help companies in many different industries find and develop the skilled workers they need to achieve success.”
Economic developer Nicole Jones said, “Business Facilities Magazine is a respected publication in the field of economic development and once again recognized Alabama’s achievements in several areas: business climate, manufacturing output, workforce training leaders, automotive manufacturing and foreign trade zone export activity. Business Facilities also recognized Birmingham as the No. 1 mid-size metropolitan area for its business climate and Huntsville as No. 1 among small-size metros.”
“Economic development is a continuous process of cultivating relationships, investing in human capital, and working with communities to find their hidden talent within,” Jones explained. “Gov. Ivey, the Alabama Department of Commerce and thousands of members of the business community collaborate daily to foster an environment conducive for economic growth. We work as a team to recruit and retain business and industry, and ultimately, it is the heart and the quality of life people experience in Alabama that solidifies every project.”
Alabama’s workforce development and talent attraction programs ranked No. 2 among the states in the ranking, while Business Facilities rated Alabama’s automotive manufacturing strength No. 5.
AIDT is the state’s primary workforce development agency and is a central player in Alabama’s strategic economic growth efforts. AIDT has worked with 5,200 companies and trained nearly 1 million workers since its founding in 1971. Last year, AIDT’s economic impact on Alabama was calculated at $7 billion.
“Any success we have in Alabama regarding workforce development and talent attraction is due to a myriad of things,” said Ed Castile, the director of AIDT and deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This includes an available workforce with an extraordinary work ethic, world-class companies that choose Alabama and hire our citizens, a business-focused Governor and Legislature who are totally engaged in our workforce strategies, and a Secretary of Commerce who helped create the Accelerate Alabama strategy that is the foundation of all our work.”
“The AIDT staff is among the best in the business of both workforce development and talent attraction, and I commend them and many others involved in this work for this recognition,” Castile said. “We are very proud to be part of the ‘Made in Alabama’ and the ‘AlabamaWorks’ team.”
Business Facilities magazine also ranked Alabama No. 6 for Foreign Trade Zone activity (exports), No. 7 for manufacturing output (percentage of GDP) and No. 10 for Birmingham/Hoover (GDP leaders, mid-size MSAs).
Alabama AFL-CIO endorses James Averhart
Democratic congressional nominee James Averhart’s campaign announced this week that he has been endorsed by the Alabama AFL-CIO in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. He recently won the Democratic primary runoff where he defeated Kiani Gardner.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is the nation’s largest union.
“I would like to thank the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) for their endorsement,” Averhart said in a statement. “I understand that the U.S. labor force is the pillar of our nation’s strength. We must protect and advance the rights and benefits that our labor force needs to work with dignity and create better lives for themselves and their families.”
“The AFL-CIO mobilizes its members and community partners to advocate for social and economic justice and strive daily to vanquish oppression and make communities better for all people—regardless of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin,” Averhart said. “With this being the mission, this organization has the overall goal of improving the lives of working families. I will be dedicated to advocating for policies to raise wages, increasing job training programs, providing sustainable supports to small businesses, and supporting equal pay for equal work. Working families make up the backbone of our economy. Therefore, it is imperative that working families prosper, so that our country prospers.”
Averhart faces Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in the Nov. 3 general election. The seat is open because incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne is not seeking another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.