New partnership seeks to enhance Valley’s economic and workforce development

John Joseph IV (left), the executive director of the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center, and Dr. Robert Altenkirch (right), president of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, sign a memorandum of agreement to enhance economic and workforce development in North Alabama.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center (DMCEC) signed a memorandum of agreement to enhance economic and workforce development in north Alabama by building a nurturing and collaborative environment in which professionals, entrepreneurs, and businesses can thrive.

"UAH takes its role very seriously as a pipeline for the region’s advanced, high-tech workforce and as a provider of professional development opportunities for startups, established businesses, and governmental agencies across the north Alabama region," says Dr. Robert Altenkirch, UAH President. "By partnering with DMCEC, we hope to leverage our combined assets to meet the needs of north Alabama’s business professionals."

UAH’s responsibilities under the agreement include working with DMCEC to transform UAH entrepreneurial initiatives into economic engines within the local community; supporting DMCEC in business recruitment activities emanating from the private sector or from UAH research and academic excellence; supporting DMCEC in the pursuit of financial support from local, state, and federal agencies to foster commercialization and economic growth locally and regionally; and supporting DMCEC’s efforts to actively market the region as a prime business destination.

Through its partnership with DMCEC, UAH will also effect positive change among local governments, authorities, and entities that enhance and promote opportunities for economic and workforce development in Huntsville/Madison County and the valley region, as well as promote investments to further positive economic outcomes and greater academic opportunities by engaging alumni and community members who hold an affinity for the UAH and the surrounding area.

"The Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center is honored and excited to sign today's important regional partnership agreement with The University of Alabama at Huntsville," said center director John Joseph IV. "We believe UAH is an invaluable asset for the nation and the state of Alabama, and we think it will continue to be a leading university for the STEM economy given its immense and diversified research and development capabilities. The E-Center looks forward to partnering with UAH to strengthen today's economy and build tomorrow's."

DMCEC’s responsibilities under the agreement include facilitating entrepreneurial and business startup development initiatives in partnership with UAH and the community; partnering with UAH in business recruitment activities resulting from UAH research and academic excellence; identifying and coordinating a community response to critical factors necessary to produce a competitive economic development portfolio; actively marketing UAH’s capability in DMCEC communications that jointly promote the region as a prime business destination; promoting and facilitating regional cooperative initiatives in partnership with UAH; and actively promoting UAH’s significant research, testing, and development capabilities.

The agreement, which was signed by Dr. Altenkirch and John Joseph IV, the executive director of the DMCEC, goes into effect immediately.


UAH’s Office of Research & Economic Development

John Joseph IV
Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center