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Sylacauga celebrates EARTH’s pursuit of innovation and promise


SYLACAUGA, Ala. –  The celebration of EARTH, or the East Alabama Rural Innovation and Training Hub, took place Thursday night, Sept. 14, on W 10th St. in Sylacauga, next to Mignon Methodist Church, and marked the beginning of the exciting future that EARTH represents.

Recently, the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE) acquired the land where the iconic former Eva Jane Avondale Mills manufacturing facility once stood, giving birth to the East Alabama Rural Innovation and Training Hub.

“Tonight was a celebration of EARTH,” said Sylacauga City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michele Eller. “We had [many people] here tonight as far as state representatives from the county, from the city, and from higher education all the way through down to K through 12 education.”

EARTH promises a new era of growth, innovation, and community empowerment, serving as a dynamic hub for collaboration. Included in this collaboration is the Talladega County Board of Education.

“This project has been in existence for about two years,” noted Dr. Suzanne Lacy, Talladega County Schools Superintendent. “The Talladega County Board of Education owned about 30 acres of the property, and SAFE bought the additional property. We’re just thrilled to be part of the partnership because it holds promise for both education and the business industry.”

The groundbreaking EARTH project will look to develop human capital, foster innovation, create jobs, leverage local resources, and expand community engagement for years to come.

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