Leadership Sumter County

Leadership Sumter County met Thursday to discuss economic development, and what the area needs to do to better educate its work force.

Representatives of JVC and Mercedes, which have operations in Tuscaloosa County, spoke about what employers need from their workers.

"We will be having 2,000 new jobs ourselves over the next two to three years," said Austin Dare, media representative for Mercedes-Benz. "Our suppliers who are locating in the Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas also will be expanding as we expand. And there could also be additional suppliers who move into the area. So there will be a lot of jobs in the automotive sector coming to west Alabama."

Sumter County is among Alabama's poorest counties. Leadership Sumter County hopes to find a way to train and educate its workforce more effectively, which could lead to more and better-paying jobs.