The Mobile County Commission will vote Monday to join in a group of community organizations looking to earn the area the designation of Advanced Manufacturing Community.

If approved, the commission would join the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the Airport Authority, the state port, as well as other government, workforce training and educational entities in an attempt to gain the special designation from the U.S. Department of Commerce that will only be given to 11 communities throughout the country.

Just to be eligible, a community had to have a significant number of employees in one area of manufacturing. Mobile County is under consideration because 7,000 of the 170,000 employed people in the county are in the shipbuilding industry, said Steve Russell, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce director of business retention and expansion.

Russell said with the designation, Mobile County would “have a leg up” in applying for grants related to infrastructure, workforce training and education in the shipbuilding industry.

“An example may be putting a training facility in Mobile County,” he said. “The local community college may need funds to upgrade their school.”

Commission President Connie Hudson said she feels good about the county’s chances at receiving the designation.

“Based on the criteria, I think we’re a good fit,” she said.

In other news, during its regular meeting on Monday, the commission:

  • Will consider accepting a subgrant award of $40,850 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for the Domestic Violence Initiative Grant
  • Will consider approving a refund in the amount of $5,784 for Imperial Distributor for damaged and destroyed tax stamps
  • Will consider approving a $1,500 sponsorship for the 2014 Center for Fair Housing Regional Leadership Summit
  • Will consider approving a $1,000 sponsorship for the 2014 American Red Cross Gumbo Cook-off
  • Will consider approving an application on behalf of the district attorney’s office in the amount of $330,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services for the Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking regional program
  • Will consider accepting a $236,861 subgrant award from ADECA for the hot spot impaired driving enforcement project