MGM OPEN FOR BIZ
The Chamber’s destination sales team is aggressively selling Montgomery, curating our city’s history and world-class memorials and museums into a must-visit experience. Corporations and groups around the world are looking to the capital city as a location for important conversations. In late September, the Chamber cosponsored a Safe Meeting Open House with the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, demonstrating to event planners that the capital city can safely accommodate a wide variety of meetings and events.
Montgomery announced the launch of the Montgomery Techlab, a new tech startup accelerator program focused on mobile app development led by Marcus Shaw, executive director of Chattanooga-based The Company Lab (CO.LAB). The Montgomery Techlab enhances the area’s thriving collection of innovation assets including MGMWERX, MGMix and the U.S. Air Force’s Air University and BESPIN, which are successfully bridging public and private sectors to develop innovative solutions and drive entrepreneurship in the city.
Created through a public/private partnership between the City, County, local economic development partners, IT companies and the Maxwell-Gunter community, Techlab is the next step in creating an innovation district that will advance the area’s defined technology culture and will propel its tech and innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Montgomery Techlab will provide startups opportunities to work closely with industry leaders in digital services. These opportunities include mentoring, training, coaching, collaborative activities, budget building, trend analysis and testing. The Techlab will advance innovation in the mobile application development industry by connecting promising startups with leading organizations in the federal, state and local government and commercial sectors desiring to digitize their traditional service operations and engagement. Through an intensive 12-week program, companies will accelerate progress by building customer relationships, validating assumptions, pursuing strategic capital and expanding capacity.
CHAMBER LEADING ON DIVERSITY
The Chamber held its 12th Diversity Summit in September and the event featured thought leaders who challenged participants to start hard conversations and to be accountable for real, measurable progress in addressing equity, diversity and access to opportunity. If you missed it (and don’t want to miss out), you can purchase all the valuable recorded content from the Summit’s micro site, montgomerychamber.com/diversitysummit.
RECORDED CONTENT INCLUDES:
- The Equality of Opportunity - Rick Wade, VP Strategic Alliance & Outreach, US Chamber of Commerce
- Developing Your Future Workforce Brooks Harper, Author/Speaker/Career Expert
- Educating the Workforce of the Future - Joylee S. Cain, Cofounder and CEO, WeeCat Industries and WildCat Industries and Director, Special Education, Enterprise City Schools; Deborah Owens, Cofounder and President, WeeCats Industries and WildCat Industries
- “Charting the Course” - Creating Your Roadmap to Success - Rodrigua Ross, VP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas
- Workplace: Navigating in a Disruptive World - Panel Discussion: Wade Preston, Co-Owner, Prevail Union Montgomery, Ashley Jernigan, Owner, JDB Hospitality LLC, and Felix Gilbert, Program Manager at Fearless & Owner, XCell.
- Intentional Leadership - Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley
INVESTING IN EDUCATION
Montgomery can and must have excellent public schools because they are critical to our future. In a joint board meeting back in September, the Chamber brought leaders together to share why the time is now to invest in Montgomery and highlighted the campaign strategy — Vote For Montgomery Public Schools — that educated the public on the issue ahead of the ad valorem tax vote in early November. More information on the campaign can be found on educatemgm.com.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WIN
Mountain Top Industries officially announced its expansion into the U.S market with the opening of a 73,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Montgomery. Mountain Top Industries is headquartered in Denmark and is a global leader in the manufacturing of aluminum roll covers for pickup trucks. The new state-of-the-art facility, located along I-85 in the Montgomery Industrial Park at 655 Industrial Park Boulevard, will include $13.5 million in capital investment and will support 90 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $3.39 million.
“On behalf of Mountain Top Industries, we are very excited to announce the opening of our 73,000 square-foot facility in Montgomery,” said Henrik Petersen, Mountain Top’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are incredibly grateful for the amount of support we have received from both state and local officials in making this project a reality and will work hard on making it a success for our valued customers, employees, suppliers and local community.”
From the onset of COVID-19, the Chamber has worked diligently to provide real-time resources and connections for business. The Chamber partnered with the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, and the Small Business Resource Center at Alabama State University to create the Small Business Hub, a one-stop resource for businesses, and the Small Business Relief Fund, which provided more than $450,000 in one-time recovery grants to more than 135 small businesses.
“Our businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we hope that funds received through this effort will help Montgomery’s small businesses during this unprecedented time,” said Chamber Foundation Chairman Willie Durham. “In addition to making funds available through the Small Business Relief Fund, the community partners will also work to provide information and additional resources to our applicants and encourage them to take advantage of our Recover Together Small Business Hub as we all work to weather this storm.”
SAFE & SOUND ALL AROUND
Destination MGM has also launched “Be the Change,” a local hospitality safety pledge program that helps locals and visitors easily identify local businesses, in every industry, that are committed to health and safety. By taking the pledge, businesses promise to uphold and abide by local, state and federal guidelines to keep customers, employees and Montgomery safe. Visit visitingmontgomery.com for a complete list of local businesses who are participating, view an interactive map, or sign your business up to participate.