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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.


 Fuel Alabama (FuelAL), a talent attraction and retention program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), in partnership with Innovate Alabama, is proud to announce its collaboration with 10 select communities to offer summer programming for college students. Partnering communities will offer professional development, service opportunities, mentorship and social events to summer interns throughout the state, focusing on their experience outside the workplace.

To supplement the incredible experiences in interns’ host cities, EDPA will also host two Summer Summits, designed to engage and fuel relationships among community-oriented young professionals in disparate regions. Interns who have participated in events in their community will be given the opportunity to sign up for a fun-filled weekend with 40 fellow interns based throughout Alabama. Details are forthcoming, but the summits are scheduled for June 28-30, 2024, and July 19-21, 2024.

To learn more about unique programming within communities and intern applications, please see FuelAL Host City links and contact information below:

Apply Today

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.

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.