On Monday, Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield announced that Brenda Tuck has been hired as Alabama’s first rural development manager to assist rural communities in better competing for job-creating projects.
Tuck has experience working on economic development in Alabama. She previously served as Regional Workforce Liaison for the Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division working with councils, employers and educators to make sure businesses’ needs are being met at the local level. She also held economic development positions in Marengo, Dallas and Wilcox counties. Tuck also has experience in the private sector as a partner at Alford & Associates, a Selma consulting firm, and five years in economic development at Pioneer Electric Cooperative.
“Brenda has extensive experience working on the front lines of economic development in rural Alabama counties, so she knows the specific challenges these areas face when it comes to competing for projects,” Secretary Canfield said.
Some rural areas are struggling to keep up with the rest of the state, and Tuck’s position is designed to enhance those communities’ competitiveness.
“Rural communities in Alabama can benefit from having a go-to person who can connect them with the resources they need to improve their economic development prospects,” Tuck said. “I look forward to working with the leaders from rural counties and communities across the state in this important role.”
The creation of the new position is just one part of a broad strategy to improve rural economies in Alabama. Since July 2015, the state has offered incentives for companies locating qualified projects in targeted communities to spur job creation in rural areas. The Department of Commerce says that since then, 16 projects involving $1 billion and 1,400 jobs have received incentives.