Notes from the Road
The Congressional calendar offers time in August for representatives and senators to spend more time home in our states and districts visiting with those we represent. Over the last few weeks I’ve had the chance to travel around Alabama’s Second District taking meetings, attending events, and listening to the concerns of my constituents. I wanted to share a few visits I’ve made along the way.
I spent time in Dothan where I spoke to a lunchtime meeting of the Associated General Contractors of Alabama. We talked a lot about challenges and opportunities facing our state workforce development. Those who build and repair things for a living understand better than most the importance of training more young people in the trades. I was glad to share the good news that the House has approved needed funding to strengthen career and technical education.
Speaking of career training, I was pleased to join Jeff Lynn, Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development at the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), to announce a new partnership with the Walmart Distribution Center in Brundidge that offers exciting opportunities for students. Walmart will give employment priority to those earning a foundational MSSC Certified Logistics Technician certification, giving Alabama students an advantage to securing quality jobs at Walmart’s facility. Colleges participating in this partnership include Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (Andalusia, Opp, Greenville, and Luverne), Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Wallace State Community College in Dothan, and Enterprise State Community College. This is just the first of many partnerships ACCS is working on to create good job opportunities, and I’m proud to support their efforts in Congress.
Agriculture is Alabama’s largest industry, and I make it a point to hear directly from the agriculture community about the issues they face. I had the opportunity to visit Auburn University’s Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland. Auburn scientists are conducting some truly incredible research that is leading to breakthroughs in agriculture technology, including a new high-yielding, disease-resistant peanut variety. Of course, peanuts have a major economic impact in the Wiregrass, and I know this is welcome news to a lot of local producers. I also participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Alabama Farmers Federation where we talked about a variety of issues facing farmers, from crop insurance to irrigation improvements. Soon Congress will begin working on our nation’s next farm bill, which makes this the perfect time to be receiving briefings from our state’s farmers. I will continue to advocate for policies that treat Alabama products like peanuts, cotton, timber, poultry, soybeans, and catfish fairly.
On Thursday I hosted a “Meet with Martha” event at Chappy’s Deli in Montgomery and invited the public to come visit with me and members of my staff one-on-one to share their views and concerns. It was a great turnout, and I want to thank those who took time to come by. We may not always agree on every issue, but I respect and value the opinions of all those I represent. Taking the time to listen to the concerns of my constituents makes me a better voice on your behalf in Washington. The next “Meet with Martha” is Tuesday, August 22 in Andalusia, so I hope you’ll consider stopping by if you live in the area.
These are just a handful of my many visits around the district. Other events included catfish fries in Ozark and Prattville,going on post at Fort Rucker to speak to the Warrant Officer College, meeting with Col. Eric Shafa, Commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base, and a visit to a successful River Region business to celebrate economic progress with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. My travels continue next week when I’ll be in Luverne, Montgomery, Dothan, Enterprise, Greenville, and Andalusia.