City hosts event to lure businesses, connect to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center


Inflatable NASA rocket stands outside the Alabama Center for the Arts in Downtown Decatur

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DECATUR, Ala. - As the River City grows, they still have under-utilized business zones, and hope to fill those with aerospace subcontractors. So for the first time, they hosted 120 prime and subcontractors to connect with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

"It's an opportunity for contractors, those wanting to do business with Marshal-NASA to locate their business in Decatur and take advantage of our workforce," said Mayor Tab Bowling.

He goes on to say the timing is perfect, as the city expands its aerospace footprint thanks to United Launch Alliance, RUAG, and Dynetics.

NASA officials agree it's an exciting time for Decatur's prominence in the industry.

"With new industry coming to town, there's always an opportunity for subcontractors to come in and support those companies, so it really has a multiplier effect," explained MSFC Small Business Specialist David Brock.

The event is not only to introduce small businesses to prime contractors but also to tell them the benefits of investing in Decatur. City leaders say it can lay the foundation to benefit today's residents and their children.

"Marshall is determined to continue to invest in the Decatur City School workforce so they have that pipeline because they're going to be here for a long time," said the mayor.

Not to mention, the job opportunities that could come to the area, should some of these subcontractors locate in the River City. Mayor Bowling says more revenue would start a domino effect that could better everything, down to city roads.

He added, hopefully attracting some of those businesses to Decatur will cancel the commute for some of the 14,000 residents who commute to Madison County daily.