Only three months at the helm of Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority (TCEDA), Justice Smyth says Tuscaloosa County in Alabama is a place where people can gain access to many tools and resources needed to build a successful business while also enjoying an incredibly high quality of life.
As executive director of the organization, Smyth has a holistic approach to development. In addition to promoting Tuscaloosa County as an ideal place to locate a business, he is committed to forming partnerships with community stakeholders for the purpose of improving housing, education, healthcare, and recreation facilities in the county.
“Tuscaloosa has all the right ingredients for business to succeed,” he said. “Here you’ll find a talented and dedicated workforce, a favorable regulatory environment, low costs of living and doing business, supportive elected officials, and community leaders who are committed to taking Tuscaloosa to the next level.”
Tuscaloosa County is also home to the University of Alabama, which recently garnered the much-coveted Carnegie R-1 classification for research universities which represents very high research activity.
Smyth believes this designation is a “game changer” in terms of the county’s ability to attract high tech, high paying, high skilled jobs. “Businesses will have an opportunity to benefit from the world-class research being conducted at UA and have access to a workforce pipeline of top-tier graduates that are produced by the institution year after year,” he said.
TCEDA aims to build the local economy through strategic growth, engaging in traditional industrial development as well as an increased focus on positioning Tuscaloosa County as a leader in the knowledge economy. “While we will continue to support our existing industries, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, we see a real opportunity to diversify the local economy through innovation and sustainable growth,” Smyth said.