Alabama’s growing industries and natural resources position the state for growth. EDPA is committed to fueling that growth through helping Alabama’s communities and employers attract and retain the talent they need.
Alabama needs to retain its best and brightest. But how?
Alabama produces thousands of talented college graduates each year. It’s time we kept more of them for their careers as well as their education. Over 34,000 students graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Alabama in 2020. But the state keeps just about 2 of every 3 in-state students and only 1 of every 5 out-of-state students one year after graduation. In partnership with the state’s largest employers, economic developers, and higher education institutions, EDPA hopes to shift the trend on student retention.
2022 FuelAL Fellowship
Through the FuelAL Fellowship—an inaugural program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama—FuelAL aims to improve retention of Alabama’s brightest minds post-graduation. In its first year, the program was open to students participating in a summer internship or co-op program and provides training, experiences, and exposure to professional opportunities and life beyond the 9-5 throughout the state.
ALEX: The Alabama Experience
ALEX: The Alabama Experience is a mobile exhibit, featuring a collection of interactive kiosks and informational pieces, as well as a knowledgeable staff who walks visitors through every aspect of life in Alabama. An immersive, first-hand experience, ALEX is the personification of Alabama through technology, powered by Atlas RFID Solutions, and it offers visitors an inside look at careers, educational opportunities and unique lifestyle available within the state. ALEX is not a job fair, but it offers individuals the ability to travel through a virtual reality experience to encounter the amenities and advantages of life in Alabama – from work to play, to costs of living. It showcases innovation of the state through industrial, interactive robots playing Korfball, motion capture suites displaying athletic movement, Alabama’s seven, diverse workforce regions and more.
Coffee and Collisions is a monthly program provided as part of EDPA’s Foundation. Coffee and Collisions serves the entrepreneurial/startup community by providing insightful panels of ecosystem building experts, while also reaching the young professional community as a beneficial networking hub. Its programming offers wisdom and feedback from a broad range of industry professionals, executives and innovation leaders. If you would be interested in attending or hosting any future programs in-person or virtually, please contact program coordinator Carolyn Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where EDPA Will Play a Role
EDPA’s partnerships allow for a broad and deep research approach learning about students and graduates in a qualitative and quantitative manner. Moving forward, our research efforts will expand to include other demographics, employers and communities. By looking at all three stakeholders, we can identify the state’s talent supply and demand – and address shortfalls in specific, targeted ways.
EDPA is one of few organizations with relationships with the three major talent-related groups: employers, universities, and economic developers. As a statewide organization, we can convene them to learn from each other’s success, failures, and best practices, as well as from national or international examples of talent attraction and retention.
The data has shown that cities should be the focus, not the state; students are eager to learn more about job opportunities; and different communities offer different value propositions.
EDPA will work with individual communities to establish and communicate a brand that emphasizes their unique assets directly to the talent they need.
Targeted Student Programming
EDPA will continue to learn directly from and communicate with students. Our FuelAL summer fellowship program offers exposure for sophomores and juniors interning at Alabama's best companies to the rich history, culture, and opportunities across the state.