By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, May 1, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey was named States’ Co-Chair for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and is tasked with leading coordination of the DRA’s work on behalf of 10 million Delta residents.
The Delta Regional Authority is a Federal/State partnership created by Congress in 2000 tin order to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, DRA has invested $163 million into more than 1,000 projects that have attracted total public and private investments of $3.5 billion.
Gov. Ivey grew up in the small Black Belt town of Camden in Wilcox County working on her father’s farm where she says that she learned the value of hard work, and the importance of living within one’s means. Ivey said that her parents instilled values of faith, family, and community.
Gov. Ivey said in a statement, “Growing up in the Delta region was an important part of how I learned to dedicate myself to working hard and gaining the leadership skills necessary to helping Alabama and our region grow and prosper. It is a distinct honor and privilege to now be a part of helping our entire region become more competitive nationally and globally.”
DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said, “DRA is grateful to have an Alabama Black Belt native who grew up in the Delta as our new States’ Co-Chair. Her willingness to serve and provide leadership to our board and our agency will support our mission of creating jobs, improving lives and building communities in the Delta region.”
The Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Jim Byard is Alabama’s designee to the DRA Board of Directors. Director Byard said, “There is no greater cheerleader for Alabama’s Black Belt than Governor Kay Ivey, and I am grateful for her selection as 2017 Delta Regional Authority States’ Co-Chair. Her leadership in creating jobs, strengthening education and supporting transportation infrastructure projects is strong and will be important as the DRA develops priorities for the year. ADECA oversees the DRA program in Alabama, and I look forward to working with Governor Ivey to support initiatives in the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama’s Black Belt.”
Kay Ivey graduated from Auburn University in 1967. Ivey has worked as a high school teacher and a bank officer. She became Reading Clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives under Speaker Joseph C. McCorquodale (D) and Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office, where she worked to spur job creation and economic development across the State.
In 2002, Ivey was elected as the first Republican elected State Treasurer since Reconstruction and was re-elected in 2006. In 2010 Ivey was elected Lieutenant Governor, unseating former Governor Jim Folsom Jr. (D). Ivey was the first Republican woman to hold the office in Alabama’s history. She was re-elected in 2014.
DRA serves eight states and 252 counties and parishes including 20 counties in Alabama. The Alabama counties in the DRA including: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, Russell, Sumter, Washington, and Wilcox. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 37,000 jobs, train more than 7,300 workers for 21st century jobs, and deliver water and sewer improvements to more than 66,000 residents.
To Learn more about the DRA visit their website at: dra.gov