BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Leaders from business, higher education and other groups in West Alabama are part of a new effort to keep more new college graduates living and working in the Tuscaloosa area.
The partnership was announced Wednesday morning at a Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama breakfast at Hotel Capstone.
Chamber of Commerce President Jim Page noted the nearly 40,000 students at the University of Alabama, over half from out of state, who come to Tuscaloosa for college, and largely leave after graduation.
"They come to our community and they fall in love with the Southern culture and all of the amenities in this area, and when they walk across the stage with a diploma, if they don't have a job opportunity, they're going to leave us," Page said. "And they do. By the hundreds, by the thousands, every year. They go to places like Austin and Nashville and these markets and economies that have really catered to the educated millennial. And we've got a great opportunity to retain a portion of those, but it starts with the right types of jobs."
Page said the partnership is in its early stages, but involves the different groups working in a coordinated effort to attract and create jobs for four-year college graduates.
Page also noted West Alabama's success in attracting jobs in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, and said that focus would continue.