Sen. Doug Jones gives Washington Update at the VBC

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The VBC North Hall was filled with hundreds of local business leaders for a Washington update hosted by The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Alabama senator Doug Jones shared the latest on issues like education, NASA, military issues, and other important items that impact our community.

Senator Doug Jones started the luncheon by praising the Rocket City's growth and the growing agencies that fuel it. But he also talked about where he believes Huntsville has room to grow.

"You've got to educate, you've got to have people," Jones said.  "We don't want everybody necessarily to have to draw from around the country. We want to get these kids that are in junior high and high school here in this area staying in this area."

He said that means promoting not only first-class academics but also technical training. He also spoke about the need to diversify our workforce from within the city.

"There are a lot of great students out there and our job is to find them," he said.  "Find them and get them interested, and keep 'em interested."

In regard to the National Space Council, Senator Jones said if Huntsville were not selected, he thinks the city will still have plenty of influence on future programs.

"Missile defense is all right here, hypersonics, you name it, there's going to be so much that has to come right out of Redstone Arsenal," he said.

Sen. Jones also predicts the only issues that may arise with the SLS program will be with the budget, and in order for the national strategy to be successful, the government needs to fund all agencies and use non-military strategies.

Sen. Jones said upcoming hard decisions will have to be made to ensure we don't just have a robust economy, but a funding plan for the government to support national security.

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