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Alabama hosts industry recruitment in Mexico

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Bob Riley and other state officials are spending four days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, trying to sell industrial site consultants on Alabama.

Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Development Office, said 25 site consultants are attending the Alabama International Business Conference, which runs Thursday through Sunday in the coastal resort.

Site consultants help companies find locations for new plants.

Alabama has conducted similar conferences each year for five years, with last year’s in Hawaii. Wade said this was the largest conference yet.

“Of all the times during the past five years to market Alabama to the world, this may be the most important time because of the current economic situation,” he said Wednesday before leaving Alabama.

Wade said the conference will give site consultants an opportunity to dine, golf and enjoy other activities with the governor and first lady Patsy Riley. Other participants include Alabama House Speaker Seth Hammett, state Finance Director Jim Main, and Ed Castile, director of Alabama’s industrial training program.

Sharing the cost of the conference with the state are Alabama Power Co., PowerSouth, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, Wade said.