Chamber/IDA Announce Industry Appreciation Week

Industry Appreciation Week has been scheduled for Oct. 24 to Oct. 30, Tom Quinn, president of The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County, announced Wednesday.

The Chamber and the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority are sponsoring the week.

So far only a golf tournament is planned, but Quinn said the agencies hope to devote the entire week to expressing appreciation for the smallest to the largest industries.

There are 119 entities listed with the IDA. Those firms employ as few as two or three people, up to a high of 1,300 at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the county’s largest employer.

Quinn said all industries are equally important, but the loss of a large employer, such as the closing of Gulf States Steel in 2000, can have a far-reaching negative impact.

The loss of Gulf States Steel had a $400 million impact, and 4,000 jobs were directly or indirectly affected.

Quinn said The Chamber and IDA want to emphasize the significance of the contributions Goodyear makes to the community, especially in light of recent news about the company’s relationship with Boy Scout Troop 58.

Because of an incident at another Goodyear facility, the corporation’s headquarters barred outside groups from using facilities on any Goodyear property, and that includes the Scout troop that had met at the Gadsden plant for years.

“The Chamber and IDA want to make sure local citizens understand the economic and community contributions the 81-year-old plant continues to make in this region of the state,” Quinn said. “They’re a very good corporate citizen.”