The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce released those survey results Tuesday at its first-ever State of the Economy event at the Battle House Hotel.
Maybe no U.S. city has seen as much economic development since the recession hit in 2007 as Mobile has. In that time, a five billion-dollar steel mill was built in Calvert, Airbus’ first North American assembly facility opened at the Brookley Aeroplex, and Austal added thousands of jobs at its downtown shipyard.
But at the State of the Economy, the focus was on some “old reliables” that have been driving the local economy for decades.
“I think some of what we’re talking about today we would have been talking about (30 years ago),” said Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President Bill Sisson.
Specifically, the shipping industry, general aviation, and chemical manufacturing were featured Tuesday.
Leaders of those local industries were the speakers and all see good things ahead in the coming years.
“If you look to the next four to five years, the chemical industry is a good industry to be in,” said George Vann, Vice President for BASF in McIntosh.
“There’s a lot of good things coming in the maritime industry,” added Wendy Robertson of APM Terminals Mobile.
“I feel very good,” said Rhett Ross, President of Continental Motors. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity.”
Health care was also highlighted. More than 15,000 people now work in that industry.
“I think it’s a huge driver of our economy here,” said Infirmary Health System President Mark Nix.
“We hear a lot about manufacturing growth, and rightfully so because we are a manufacturing center in the US, but we have a lot of service industry growth as well,” added Sisson.
The overall message at the first ever State of the Economy – there will always be challenges – but future looks bright for Mobile.