Business leaders say Alabama needs to focus on education, training

Business executives in Alabama say the state’s top challenges are improving education and workforce training.That’s the conclusion of a survey conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. It’s the third straight year those two issues have topped the survey.

The survey, conducted annually since 2013, asks executives for their opinions about issues facing the state and the business leaders’ respective companies. More than 70 business executives participated in the survey, which was conducted in November 2018.

Viktoria Riiman, socioeconomic analyst at UA’s CBER, said the survey also reflected other concerns among executives.“Business leaders expressed concern in their comments over the tightening labor market,” Riiman said in a news release. “Businesses report that competition for talent is fierce.”

Here’s how the business leaders ranked the top five issues facing Alabama:

• 89 percent said education and workforce training

• 68 percent said infrastructure

• 61 percent said economic and business development

• 49 percent said dissatisfaction with government

• 34 percent said job growth

In issues affecting companies directly, business executives ranked workforce training as their top issue, the same as in the 2017 survey.

[Read more]