House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels today told the Business Council of Alabama’s Tuesday morning briefing that the House Democratic Caucus’ focus is job creation, retention, and education.
Rep. Daniels, D-Huntsville, was elected in 2014 and chosen House Minority Leader last month by Democrats to succeed Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, who announced last year he would not continue in the position. Rep. Daniels is a former educator and is a small businessman who owns a small defense firm and co-owns a dental practice with his wife.
The BCA schedules Tuesday briefings each week during regular legislative sessions for BCA members and features legislators and policy makers. Today’s briefing was sponsored by the Business Education Alliance of Alabama that was created in 2013 to assist in providing the best education opportunities and skills training available for Alabama’s public school students.
Introducing Rep. Daniels was Mark Colson, the BCA’s senior vice president of governmental affairs and chief of staff.
Rep. Daniels said both parties in the Legislature working together on economic and education issues will open up opportunities for Alabama’s young men and women who are the workforce of the future. “We all want Alabama to prosper,” Rep. Daniels said.
Rep. Daniels was raised in rural Alabama and lives now in one of the state’s major urban areas so he understands the varied needs of both parts of the state. Jobs in rural Alabama are scarce, he said, and the challenge is to create opportunities for rural Alabama while not hurting commerce in urban centers. State job and education policies are the way to accomplish the dual challenge, he said.
“Putting people to work is a high priority of ours,” he said. “For us as lawmakers we have to figure out the best approach to provide jobs.”
Rep. Daniels said workforce development and training young men and women for tomorrow’s heavily automated manufacturing jobs is a continuing opportunity and challenge for educators.
Another challenge is to keep jobs in Alabama to provide wages and tax receipts.
“Our priorities should be focused more on job growth,” he said. “We want to buy Alabama, sell Alabama, and hire Alabama.”