Emily Jerkins serves as the Director of Research at the Birmingham Business Alliance. In this role, she provides research services to the BBA team, local economic development organizations and other regional partners, site selection consultants and companies considering relocation to the Birmingham region.
Beyond its research program, Jerkins manages the organization’s international trade activity, specifically educational programming and participation in state-led trade missions, and is a co-founder of the Bham BizHub, a project of BBA, Alabama Capital Network and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), focused on creating a centralized information hub helping entrepreneurs. As a skilled economic development professional, Jerkins specializes in providing insights on the regional economy, its workforce and market dynamics and the organization’s progress towards its goals.
Prior to joining the BBA, she was research manager at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Jerkins has provided key research and proposal support for several major economic development projects in Birmingham and Mobile, including the $135 million, 500-plus Walmart distribution project in Mobile and several large, active projects currently in the Birmingham pipeline.
A native of Bay Minette, Ala., Jerkins graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama with an undergraduate degree in business administration concentrating in economics and finance.
Jerkins is an active member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA), Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) and International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She is currently pursuing certifications in economic development (IEDC) and community research (C2ER). At the state level, she serves on the Export Alabama Alliance, Alabama Count’s economic development sub-committee, an initiative focused on increasing participation in the 2020 Census, and as a liaison to the Alabama State Data Center. Jerkins serves the community as a member of the Junior League of Birmingham (JLB).