Mayor Battle addresses growth in the Rocket City

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "We're in the mode over the next couple of years to pretty much pick and choose on who we bring into the area, and who we really think fits this area well," Mayor Tommy Battle said.

According to Battle, Huntsville has been through two or three phases when it comes to recruiting companies to the city.

"First we were in the high tech mode and getting everything we could high tech. We were working in the government mode trying to diversify the arsenal; and I think we've done that. Third we went to advanced manufacturing," Battle explained.

He said recently the city has had its eyes set on bringing in more technology companies. "Like over at Research Park and bringing what brought us to the game, and who brought us to the dance as you would say," Battle explained.

He said incoming companies look at three things when coming to a new city. They look at the education and if it provides career ready students when they leave public schools and colleges, if the infrastructure is available and the quality of life. "Quality of life is everything from dog parks, to disc golf to breweries. All of that ties together. When you can check off all of those boxes, it gives you a lead in bringing new industry in," Battle said.

Battle said the city is going to have maybe two more successes. Then they will have to sit back to see if they have the work force to fulfill the incoming jobs. He said currently the city's unemployment rate is declining.