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Governor Bentley Visits Struggling Alexander City
Governor Robert Bentley has been touring the state, looking for cities that need a little help getting back on their feet.
Today he was in Alexander City to see what the state can do to help.
Alexander City has been facing rough times with Russell Athletics leaving the area. Governor Bentley says his new focus is to bring jobs to the area.
The Russell Plant, which makes special order athletic clothing, will start closing it's doors next Monday. It went from over 7,000 employees to only a few hundred now.
"Well, people was everywhere, they had jobs, they were out shopping and now you very seldom see any of the businesses with several people in there shopping like at Christmas," said lifelong resident Sherry Caldwell.
Governor Bentley toured Central Alabama Community College to talk to some of those young people the city wants to keep employed in town. The training they can get at the school is just one asset for any business looking to come move to Alex City.
"They have so many assets, we have the lake here and it's just a beautiful city. They have a good road system, good school system so I think they have everyThing in place to really bring in some suppliers for large companies like Air Bus," said Governor Bentley.
Mayor Charles Shaw hopes that new industry can jump start the city. He says that it's comforting have the governor take a personal interest Alex City.
"I think it makes us all feel more relaxed around him. When we go to him and ask him for things, and we do go to the state and ask for things. I think he's realized a few more of our needs now that he's come here," said Mayor Shaw.
The governor says it's the small towns like this one that make up the backbone of the state.
"I think this is Alabama. I know that we have large cities but you know, I grew up in a small town and small town is just a special part of this state, a special part of Alabama."