Birmingham City Council codifies Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity
PRESS RELEASE Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Contact: Chiara Perry
Today during Birmingham City Council meeting, the Council approved an item codifying the newly-minted Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEO).
The item was on the agenda during two prior meetings but was withdrawn at the request of Councilor Steven Hoyt to add a position within the department to address issues dealing with diversity and minority inclusion.
While Birmingham has experienced unprecedented growth in the last several years, there is still much work to be done, according to Josh Carpenter, director of the newly-minted Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity. He explained that 40 percent of adults have left the workforce in Birmingham, a city that is ranked 178 out of 182 in the United States when it comes to how easy it is to find a job. Also, nearly 30 percent of residents in Birmingham live at or below the poverty line, many of them are families with children. The new department is aimed at fixing that.
“We just want to make sure the city is doing all it can to foster a high level of minority inclusion with all the new development we are seeing,” Hoyt said. “This is about equity. We need to be a city that is known for diversity and inclusion, especially when it comes to the overall growth we are seeing in Birmingham. I believe this is a step in that direction.”
This press release is a collaborative contribution from Cody Owens in the Office of Public Information for the Birmingham City Council and Chiara Perry, Interim Director of Public Information. For media inquiries please contact Chiara Perry at 205.383.8432.