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    MONTGOMERY CHAMBER’S LAB ON DEXTER CELEBRATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
    In conjunction with DAFITC, the Montgomery Chamber held a one-year anniversary celebration at The Lab on Dexter on August 29. In the past year, the Lab on Dexter participated in, hosted and facilitated meetings, educational opportunities and provided programming for local entrepreneurs and the small business network. Additionally, the Lab partnered with community stakeholders to enhance the Labs brand and visibility via events designed to engage the community.

    The Lab on Dexter is the Chamber’s newest state-of-the-art entrepreneurial learning and innovation facility located on one of America’s most historically significant streets—Dexter Avenue. The Lab features small business suites and co-working spaces for lease, collaboration and tech and entrepreneurial training space and serves as a home for the Montgomery TechLab Accelerator. Programs housed at the Lab give tech and innovation professionals and entrepreneurs access to resources, networking opportunities, capital and equipment.

    MONTGOMERY HOSTS ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL EATMGM RESTAURANT WEEK
    Montgomery’s 8th annual restaurant week EatMGM, returned this year with 10 days of deals, online contests and social media promotions. Organized by Experience Montgomery, a division of the Chamber, EatMGM
    featured 18 local restaurants and was held August 26-September 4.

    “As our local restaurant community continues to face incredible challenges, there’s no better time than now to double down on our support of these entrepreneurs and the hardworking hospitality professionals they employ during restaurant week,” said Destination Montgomery Tourism Consultant Ashley Jernigan. “Strong local support of our culinary treasures will ensure that the travelers who are returning to Montgomery will have the chance to discover the unique flavors of our city and keep our hospitality industry growing.”

    The EatMGM Montgomery Restaurant Week was sponsored by Spire, and Spire Alabama President Joe Hampton said, “At Spire, we understand the vital role restaurants and other businesses in the food and beverage industry play in a community. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Montgomery Restaurant Week, support our local restaurants, and provide the community with a way to connect through enjoying great food and drink.”

    BOEING RED TAILS CLASSIC
    In partnership with ESPN Events, Mayor Steven L. Reed and the City of Montgomery hosted the Boeing Red Tails Classic on Sunday, September 4 at Cramton Bowl. Featuring Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State University, the Red Tails Classic showcased the excellence and athleticism of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities while honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. The game was televised nationally on ESPNU and ESPN+.

    Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed shared the significance of the event. “During the centennial commemoration of Cramton Bowl, our city is proud to add another signature Montgomery experience,” he said. “As the setting for many of the most seminal moments in the Modern Civil Rights Movement and the home of Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard, there is no better place than Montgomery to celebrate HBCU excellence while honoring the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. In Montgomery, we are proud of our past and focused on the future.”

    Leading up to gameday, the City of Montgomery offered HBCU Kickoff Weekend, which included several days of live music, family events, food, fun and more.

    FCS KICKOFF CLASSIC
    Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl hosted Jacksonville State University and Stephen F. Austin State University for the FCS Kickoff Classic. Now in its sixth year, the FCS Kickoff Classic is the first nationally televised college football game of 2022 on ESPN. “ESPN is proud to collaborate in establishing this event in what we hope will be a staple in kicking off the college football season,” said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President, ESPN Events. Jacksonville State made a second-half comeback to beat Stephen F. Austin 42-17.

    WRIGHT FLYERS HOST WELCOME BREAKFAST FOR NEW LT. GENERAL
    The Chamber’s Wright Flyers, a membership entity focused solely on supporting and improving the relationship between military and community, held a special Welcome Breakfast and Brief for the new Air University Commander and President, Lt. General Andrea Tullos.

    In her new role, Tullos leads the intellectual and leadership-development center of the U.S. Air Force, graduating more than 50,000 resident and 120,000 non-resident officers, enlisted and civilian personnel each year. Additionally, she is responsible for officer commissioning through Officer Training School and the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

    ECONOMIC UPDATE

    ALABAMA ECONOMIC OUTLOOK UPDATE
    The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama recently released numbers giving a snapshot of the economy in Alabama.

    Here are a few highlights: Following a 5.7 percent rate of increase seen in the fourth quarter 2021, Alabama’s economy declined by 1.8 percent in the first quarter, and will most likely show another drop in economic growth in the second quarter. For the year, Alabama’s economy is only expected to increase by about 1.2 percent, with employment growing at about 1.8 percent.

    The State gained 5,700 jobs in June over the previous month, bringing the total net gain in jobs to 41,200 from June 2021 to June 2022, while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 3.5 percent in June 2021 to 2.6 percent in June 2022.

    The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed workers, based on a household survey, dropped from 79,439 in June 2021 to 60,338 in June 2022.

    Year to date, total tax revenues have increased by 15.3 percent from October 2021 to July 2022. For the same period, sales tax receipts rose 7.6 percent while income tax revenues went up 25.4 percent, totaling $1.5 billion and $3.2 billion respectively.

    WORKFORCE INNOVATION TOUR
    In an effort to develop and foster a viable workforce action plan specific to the needs of Montgomery, Chamber leadership hosted a two-day immersion visit in Tuscaloosa at the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce on August 15-17, that included local elected officials, MPS and the new superintendent, key CTE representatives and Montgomery County Board of Education leaders. The Career Tech Education and Workforce Development tour included roundtable discussions with elected officials; stakeholders and leaders in workforce development, economic development, government and education sectors; the Tuscaloosa Career Technical Academy K-12 partnerships, the modern manufacturing logistics center; community college partners; and ready-to-work programs.

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