Stretching across more than 7,000 square miles, Alabama’s First Congressional District boasts a wealth of natural assets: towering forests, fertile agricultural fields, the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, and sugar-white sand beaches along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, just to name a few. The district includes all of Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties, and a portion of Clarke County.
Alabama’s First District is the birthplace of Mardi Gras with the first festival being held in 1703 in Mobile, fifteen years before it started in Louisiana. Today, Mobile continues to celebrate Mardi Gras with parades, balls, and festivities.
Indicative of our bountiful resources is a phenomenon unique to Mobile Bay, the “jubilee,” in which the bay waters periodically deliver an abundance of live shrimp, crabs, flounder and other fish to the shores and shallows. When the word gets out that another pre-dawn jubilee is under way, you can see many a lucky local resident scooping seafood into buckets and coolers.
Throughout the First District, it is still possible to live off the land. Hunting and fishing remain the birthright of anyone fortunate enough to live in Southwest Alabama. A mild climate allows for year-round gardening and farming. Fresh seafood is plentiful for recreational and commercial fishermen and seafood processors. A thriving timber industry remains vital to the region’s economy and provides ample habitat for wild game.
Alabama’s First Congressional District isn’t just a great place to live, it’s also a great place to learn and work. College-bound students in our district have plenty of choices nearby. Among the four-year institutions are Spring Hill College, the University of Mobile, and the University of South Alabama.
With an annual economic impact of $3 billion, the University of South Alabama is a major economic engine for our district, employing 5,500 people and boasting more than 15,000 students, the third-highest student enrollment in the state. USA offers a wide array of degree programs through 10 colleges and schools, and medical services through the USA Health System.
Students aiming for a technical job – or employees wishing to upgrade their skills and certification – have a wealth of workforce training options that lead to high-paying jobs. Workforce training offered through Alabama’s two-year college system at Bishop State, Faulkner State, Jefferson Davis, or Alabama Southern community colleges focuses on supplying skilled employees to the area’s major employers, such as our rapidly growing shipbuilding, aerospace and steel industries.
The Port of Mobile, which covers more than 4,000 acres, is home to numerous business and industry ranging from shipping to offshore energy production. Located along the Mobile River, the Port of Mobile is the only deep-water port in Alabama. The Alabama State Port Authority has a huge economic impact on the entire state of Alabama with 127,591 direct and indirect jobs. The McDuffie Terminal is one of the largest coal exporting terminals in the United States.
Economically, our district’s farms produce a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The major crops continue to be timber, cotton, and soybeans. In fact, the timber industry - which encompasses everything from the growth and harvesting of timber to the creation of lumber, pulp, and paper - is the district's main employer. Additionally, the First District is home to numerous chemical, seafood, shipping, aerospace, medical, and tourism businesses and industries.
The First District has successfully combined the best qualities found in both metropolitan and rural areas, has retained a strong link to its storied history, and has managed to maintain its easygoing charm while charging ahead into the 21st century. With all these premier assets – natural beauty and abundance, great educational opportunities and a growing economy – Southwest Alabama is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.