Vestavia Hills Living

2018

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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new projects, Canfield and his staff have worked with automotive manufacturers on a number of expansion projects, including three at Mercedes, two at Hyundai, three at Honda and five at Toyota. "Manufacturing developments tend to include high capital investments and high job numbers, so that gets a lot of attention," Canfield says. "But we're also growing in biotech, technology, forest products, metals and metal alloys that support the automotive and aerospace industries." M A N A G I N G C O M M E R C E O F A L L T Y P E S As the Secretary of Commerce, Canfield doesn't just recruit new companies and work to expand existing companies. His office also oversees all types of commerce in the state, such as developing export opportunities for Alabama-based businesses. Through its Office of Small Business Advocacy, the Department of Commerce also is charged with helping create services that foster the development and expansion of small businesses in the state. And Canfield also oversees the Alabama Film Office, which is responsible for recruiting film and entertainment projects. Along with business development, the Department of Commerce maintains a workforce development division, which is charged with ensuring that a trained workforce is available to meet the needs of new and existing businesses in the state. Canfield supervises and oversees AIDT, Alabama's independent worker training agency, which provides job-specific training and recruiting at no cost to new and expanding businesses throughout the state. S E L L I N G A L A B A M A When visiting executives come to Alabama for the first time, they're often surprised by what they find. "They don't expect Alabama to be as rich in culture as it is and they don't expect the food scene to be what it is," Canfield says. "They're also surprised at how accepting and welcoming people are. If we can get them here, they get to experience the sense of place and the quality of life, and we can easily sell them on our state." The best way to sell Alabama, Canfield has learned, is by connecting company leaders with the executives of other companies that have already decided to locate here. That's because the organizations that have already committed to the state will rave about the location, the cost of living, the lifestyle and the workforce. "They love the work ethic of Alabamians and the fact that our state's workers take great pride in what they do and want to be the best," Canfield says. "That allows companies to have team members that produce best quality products and services. And we can point to companies in almost every industry sector who have chosen to be here and are happy with their decision; that's our biggest selling point." 2 0 1 8 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 61

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