November 16 – Dr. Josh Carpenter, the director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEO), has announced he will depart the City of Birmingham to pursue additional opportunities related to job creation and job growth in Birmingham.
Under Carpenter’s leadership, the Office of Economic Development was re-engineered to become the IEO to support the goals of Mayor Randall L. Woodfin’s administration. A key shift in strategy included providing economic opportunity for the people of Birmingham through a relentless focus on talent development, talent retention and talent attraction.
“Seldom do you get to do work you find meaningful for a leader you greatly admire in the place you love most. Working with Mayor Woodfin and our team in the administration to operationalize an economic development strategy that ‘puts people first’ has been a profound joy and a great honor,” Carpenter said. “I am proud of our team at IEO and what we have accomplished over the last three years. We have helped launch public-private initiatives like Birmingham Promise, BhamStrong, and Prosper Birmingham. Working collaboratively with our partners we have initiated policies that improve healthy food access, invest incentive dollars in workers and improve key processes in City Hall.”
Mayor Woodfin’s vision is for Birmingham to be a hub of qualified and diverse talent and a premier destination for small businesses, startups and businesses looking to expand.
“Dr. Carpenter’s focus on the goals of this administration have shown real results. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Birmingham saw a 7% increase in employment, a national ranking by Forbes as one of the nation’s top 10 hottest job markets going into 2020 and a significant increase for inclusive economic growth,” Mayor Woodfin said. “Once COVID-19 hit, IEO immediately shifted under Josh’s leadership to help small businesses and displaced workers affected by the economic downturn created by the pandemic. Our future will be brighter as we build back from this crisis.”
“We are grateful for his friendship and commitment to our city. I wish him well in this next chapter,” Mayor Woodfin said.
Carpenter’s last day with the City of Birmingham will be November 27, 2020.