MOBILE, AL…Coastal Alabama Partnership (CAP), a not-for-profit organization led by a diverse, volunteer group of private sector civic and business leaders in Baldwin and Mobile counties, unveils plans for identifying, prioritizing and addressing regional challenges and opportunities on March 21, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at 5 Rivers.
This strategic alliance positions CAP as an incubator for developing and supporting major initiatives to move the region forward and into the global marketplace. The organization grew out of recovery efforts from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and the need for a central point of contact for issues affecting the region—from economic development and infrastructure to tourism and environmental concerns.
“Our organization is focused on providing a platform for regional leaders to convene, collaborate, build consensus and advocate for Coastal Alabamaʼs top priorities,” says Wiley Blankenship, President and CEO of CAP. “With all of us working together, Coastal Alabama has limitless potential to become a truly prosperous and globally competitive region.”
With a population of nearly 608,000 (2013 US Census projections), the combined metropolitan statistical areas for Mobile and Baldwin counties is the second largest in Alabama and accounts for 13 percent of the stateʼs population. As Baldwin is the stateʼs largest county in land area, the two counties combined cover nearly 2,830 square miles.
In addition, Coastal Alabama accounts for 33% of annual visitor spending for the entire tourism industry in Alabama. In 2011, the region outpaced visitor spending along Floridaʼs Emerald Coast (Destin/Fort Walton) by more than $100 million.
The founding entities that envisioned and structured CAP include a broad cross section of stakeholders. Those organizations are: Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Alabama State Port Authority, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Airport Authority, and South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. Each of the founding entities appointed a representative to sit on the Board of Directors. The board also includes three at-large members.
“This is an exciting time for Coastal Alabama as a region and an exciting opportunity for this partnership to bring everyone together while championing our area as a desirable destination to work, live and play,” adds CAP Board Chair Sheila Hodges.
On March 21, the organization will present a number of strategic priorities on which it is currently focusing, as well as unveil a new brand and website, www.coastalalabama.org In addition, Hodges, owner of Meyer Real Estate, and board member Dave Trent, site director for Airbus Engineering Center, will address the importance of regionalism. The news briefing takes place at 3:30 p.m. at 5 Rivers Delta Hall-Tensaw Theatre.