This month, visitors from around the globe are flocking to Birmingham for the largest international sports event in the Southeast since the ’96 Olympics – The World Games 2022. With attendance of more than 500,000 forecast, state leaders are hoping to capitalize on the influx of visitors and make an introduction to ALEX, the Alabama Experience.
Making its debut at the games, ALEX is an “immersive, firsthand, interactive experience” designed to entertain, inform and empower visitors. Through virtual reality, participants will take an inside look at what it’s like to live and work in Alabama. ALEX spotlights innovation in the state through industrial, interactive robots playing korfball, motion capture suites displaying athletic movement, Alabama’s seven, diverse workforce regions and more.
Developed by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) and industry partners, ALEX helps visitors explore “Sweet Home Alabama,” including the state’s natural beauty, Southern hospitality and burgeoning industry. Knowledgeable staff members walk participants through the experience while directing attendees to interactive and informational kiosks, making connections that encourage future visits or relocation to the area.
Visitors interested in finding work in Alabama will be exposed to 189 different careers paths in the state and have the option to be matched to specific industries and introduced electronically to the proper representatives.
“The World Games is a fantastic venue for ALEX to showcase all that Alabama has to offer,” said Mike Oatridge, founder and coordinator of ALEX. “By focusing on information technology, advanced manufacturing and health sciences jobs, we are going to be affecting about 40% of the unfilled jobs in the state and really focusing on the salaries available for people, but then show people what that value is within the state. Our cost of living is phenomenal, and the overall lifestyle in Alabama convinces you to never leave.”
ALEX is made possible through the support of colleges, universities and the business community.
“We’re committed to supporting efforts to grow Alabama businesses, develop our state’s workforce and provide quality jobs,” said Jeff Peoples, Alabama Power executive vice president of Customer and Employee Services. “ALEX is an innovative way to recruit new residents and prepare them for job opportunities in our state.”
ALEX is an “immersive, firsthand, interactive experience” designed to entertain, inform and empower visitors while using virtual reality to give participants a look at what it’s like to live and work in Alabama. (Billy Brown / Alabama NewsCenter)
“We want everyone who visits ALEX to know that our community colleges are the affordable pathway to quality education and training that lead to great careers and a better quality of life,” said Jimmy Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.
ALEX is free and will be open to the general public:
- July 7-13: 1-8 p.m.
- July 14: 1-4:30 p.m.
- July 15-17: 1-8 p.m.
ALEX is located at the corner of Ninth Avenue North and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard in downtown Birmingham.