Gov. Bentley Travels Japan, Some Say He's Recruiting Wrong Industry

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By Ashley Thompson

Today, Governor Robert Bentley took off for Japan today to meet with leaders in the automobile industry. It's all part of a plan to bring more jobs to Alabama but not everyone is happy with his trip.

 

"Alabama right now is probably the 5th largest automobile producing state and we produce a lot of automobiles in Alabama," he says. "We would like to be number one."

 More than 60 Japanese companies have set up shop in Alabama, providing thousands of jobs to residents, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. Governor Robert Bentley says he'd like even more companies to have operations in the state.

Though not everyone wants to be number one in the automotive industry. Jessica Miree is a recent graduate who says she'd like to see more Alabama grown businesses.

"We have enough right now so we should look more towards what's here that we can utilize than go somewhere else to find it."

In an attempt to lure more Japanese businesses to Alabama, Governor Bentley says he will meet with top executives at Toyota and Honda in Japan.

"We'll probably meet with some new companies that we have not had a chance to meet with but this is really a relationship trip," he explains.

Some residents tell us they believe the governor's trip could lead to more jobs and in turn economic growth.

"Oh I think it's a good thing," says Juanita Madison. "Any time you can bring in more jobs, that's got to be a good thing."

Though others tell us they believe the governor is focusing on the wrong industry.

"I think it's a great idea to bring more businesses over but I think the administration needs to focus more on high paying jobs that would benefit the economy and community more," says Allison Jones.

"The downside, it would be a matter of opinion but basically that there would be a Japanese owned company rather than American owned company coming to Alabama," says Carla Copeland. .

This will be the Governor's first trip to Japan. He is scheduled to return late Friday.

 

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