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Old 06-25-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
349 posts, read 216,414 times
Reputation: 431
Default Newcomer: not to Birmingham, but the forum...Comments

Hello all. I'm a new poster who works in Southside Birmingham, and lives in North Shelby County (doesn't everyone?). I've been reading for a good while but just recently decided to add my comments. Interestingly, the thing that drew me to this particular site was the Los Angeles, CA forum. Just a general interest in things related to the area.

I've been here for a few years now, after moving back to here from Charlotte, NC. I moved from here back in 99 and stayed gone for 4 years. Moved back for family reasons, as my wife and I are both from Alabama originally.

I'm 34 now, as is she, and considering another move. At least I am. She's not even entertaining it, but I've grown frustrated professionally, with what I believe is limited opportunities in the Birmingham area. In actuality, in my profession (finance related, banking, etc), Birmingham probably does have a lot of jobs, but the job market overall right now is just enemic.

So, my thought and question is, does Birmingham have some potential for growth at all? We have finance and we have medicine sort of cornered in this region, but will changes in the economy and changes in policy hamstring those areas, hurting Birmingham's chances for growth and prosperity?
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:25 AM
 
4,992 posts, read 6,937,813 times
Reputation: 4471
You are not aware of what is going on around you, are you? BHam is moving but under the surface. The good o'l system is well and very active.
PM me some info be it resume or link to LinkedIn if you want to talk about finance/banking.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:11 AM
 
38 posts, read 42,724 times
Reputation: 14
I am in medicine/health as is my wife. My father is a sixth generation banker. I have an uncle that was making 170K a few years ago, but in todays economy he can't get a job making 80K. One thing he has against him is he is 55 yrs old. Banking as many other areas of the economy have just shrunk. Many in certain fields are going to have to either accept less of a salary or make slight to drastic career changes. BTW, my uncle is in the Memphis area, so that is another area other than Bham that is suffering. My wife has tons of patients in banking/finance that are having to move to less desirable locations or to jobs with less income. Unfortunately, the govt thinks they can fix this by printing more money, but this is just going to make things worse for generations to come. Good luck in your job search.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:51 AM
 
4,992 posts, read 6,937,813 times
Reputation: 4471
For the last eight years I have been working with local companies (some stand alone, some super regional) to locate and move the perfect candidate in banking/finance/accounting and some purple squirrels to keep it interesting. The process has changed, expectations have shifted, companies have been restructured but those who are top of the line are still being courted, paid and moved.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
349 posts, read 216,414 times
Reputation: 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
You are not aware of what is going on around you, are you? BHam is moving but under the surface. The good o'l system is well and very active.
PM me some info be it resume or link to LinkedIn if you want to talk about finance/banking.
I won't rule out my being a bit "out of the loop". What do you mean by "under the surface"? Is it something you can speak of, in generalities, here in this forum? Of course there is no naming of names or places...I'd be glad to talk via PM. I'm new here, so I'm learning the etiquette .
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:59 AM
 
24,147 posts, read 24,539,354 times
Reputation: 31834
Well, I will offer the following. Birmingham has come an enormous distance since 1980 when it lived and died by steel. This is borne out in the diversity of biz here, from finance to healthcare and a host of other industries. It is also represented by the rise in household income over the past 30 years, which is the highest of any city in the country. In 2007, the region's unemployment rate was around 2.3%, the nation's lowest. None of this is evidence of a city that's going nowhere.

I think what you're looking at is the results of the spanking that the financial industry took over the past three years. Five years ago, Birmingham was the third-largest banking center in the country, but the economy and the acquisition climate has reduced its profile. Couple that with a four-alarm recession (Personally, I think it's a depression. Recessions are price adjustments while Depressions are balance sheet adjustments), and you have a city that took a hit. Yet, if you look outside of Texas, you can say the same thing about most other major metropolitan areas. The postings on these forums, no matter which state or city you choose, are complaints about job markets.

I think the city has some problems to solve, chiefly the Jefferson County sewer debt and our overall transportation issues. But an increasingly diverse economy and generally vigorous economic development efforts should mean strong positioning for the area once the economic woes are behind us (Don't expect that to happen in the next couple of years, however. We are just in the eye of the economic storm).

I think a key development will be the completion of I-22. That, in conjunction with the huge rail transfer facility currently underway in McCalla, signals an enormous opportunity for the area, because we are suddenly in play as a very desirable distribution center. The cost per square foot for industrial real estate is much lower than in Atlanta, and the cost of doing business is lower, too. When you consider that an estimated 60% of the country's economic growth between now and 2025 will take place in the six states of the Southeast, that's a pretty good position to be in.

In addition, I think the combining of local economic development into the MDB is a huge step forward for the city. It allows us to have a combined front rather than a crazy quilt of smaller, less capable organizations.

So, yeah, we have some short-term problems to work through. At the same time, the underlying foundation for Birmingham is better than it was when I moved here, and certainly far better than places I've lived. Compared to a state like California or New York or New Jersey, our problems are trivial in comparison.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:00 AM
 
4,992 posts, read 6,937,813 times
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Very simple - networking, networking, networking!
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,652 posts, read 4,648,876 times
Reputation: 883
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, I will offer the following. Birmingham has come an enormous distance since 1980 when it lived and died by steel. This is borne out in the diversity of biz here, from finance to healthcare and a host of other industries. It is also represented by the rise in household income over the past 30 years, which is the highest of any city in the country. In 2007, the region's unemployment rate was around 2.3%, the nation's lowest. None of this is evidence of a city that's going nowhere.

I think what you're looking at is the results of the spanking that the financial industry took over the past three years. Five years ago, Birmingham was the third-largest banking center in the country, but the economy and the acquisition climate has reduced its profile. Couple that with a four-alarm recession (Personally, I think it's a depression. Recessions are price adjustments while Depressions are balance sheet adjustments), and you have a city that took a hit. Yet, if you look outside of Texas, you can say the same thing about most other major metropolitan areas. The postings on these forums, no matter which state or city you choose, are complaints about job markets.

I think the city has some problems to solve, chiefly the Jefferson County sewer debt and our overall transportation issues. But an increasingly diverse economy and generally vigorous economic development efforts should mean strong positioning for the area once the economic woes are behind us (Don't expect that to happen in the next couple of years, however. We are just in the eye of the economic storm).

I think a key development will be the completion of I-22. That, in conjunction with the huge rail transfer facility currently underway in McCalla, signals an enormous opportunity for the area, because we are suddenly in play as a very desirable distribution center. The cost per square foot for industrial real estate is much lower than in Atlanta, and the cost of doing business is lower, too. When you consider that an estimated 60% of the country's economic growth between now and 2025 will take place in the six states of the Southeast, that's a pretty good position to be in.

In addition, I think the combining of local economic development into the MDB is a huge step forward for the city. It allows us to have a combined front rather than a crazy quilt of smaller, less capable organizations.

So, yeah, we have some short-term problems to work through. At the same time, the underlying foundation for Birmingham is better than it was when I moved here, and certainly far better than places I've lived. Compared to a state like California or New York or New Jersey, our problems are trivial in comparison.

You think?

I'm trying to think of the state as a whole, and if I were running a major company, I kind of don't see the point of setting up shop in much of the South. Maybe Atlanta, and maybe some parts of North Carolina, but from there I don't know.

I think the future of the country is definitely in technology and energy related industries and outside of Huntsville, where else in Alabama would a company like that go? The other parts of the state don't have the workforce that would be required.

But I can't see there being problems in New Jersey. There are too many high paying jobs here, in NYC, and Philadelphia. Now, California is a different story. Their budget is almost to the point of not existing.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:16 PM
 
24,147 posts, read 24,539,354 times
Reputation: 31834
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennquaker09 View Post
You think?

I'm trying to think of the state as a whole, and if I were running a major company, I kind of don't see the point of setting up shop in much of the South. Maybe Atlanta, and maybe some parts of North Carolina, but from there I don't know.

I think the future of the country is definitely in technology and energy related industries and outside of Huntsville, where else in Alabama would a company like that go? The other parts of the state don't have the workforce that would be required.

But I can't see there being problems in New Jersey. There are too many high paying jobs here, in NYC, and Philadelphia. Now, California is a different story. Their budget is almost to the point of not existing.
Actually, there are numerous reasons why industries want to relocate here, as opposed to staying up north and out west, from a tax structure that's not punitive to being a Right To Work state to less expensive land and power. The reasons for moving outnumber the reasons to stay, which is why New Jersey, California, and New York are continuing to bleed industry. All three states are in the top ten for outbound migration and, along with Michigan and Illinois, are in a race for the bottom.

Alabama, until this year, was a top ten state for inbound migration. And while Huntsville certainly has a high technology work force, Birmingham's is really not that far behind it.

The truth be told, the states you seem enamored with have, in reality, shot themselves in the foot and become less competitive in the process.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,652 posts, read 4,648,876 times
Reputation: 883
Honestly, I'm kind of indifferent towards New Jersey. I don't dislike it, but I'm not in love with it either. It was either spend a fortune in NYC or spend the same amount and get a house in NJ, we chose to get a house.
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