Alabama got high marks for “Automotive Manufacturing Strength” and AIDT, Alabama’s workforce development agency, ranked high among “Workforce Training Leaders” in Business Facilities magazine’s annual rankings report, released last week.

Mercedes team members pose with MBUSI’s “Job 1” GLE Coupe, a new model being produced in Alabama.

Mercedes team members pose with MBUSI’s “Job 1” GLE Coupe, a new model being produced in Alabama.

Record output at Alabama’s three auto assembly plants underlined the state’s No. 2 ranking in the magazine’s “Auto Manufacturing Strength” category. Alabama and Tennessee swapped positions in the rankings from the previous year.

“Alabama, this year’s No. 2, is throwing down a marker for a heavyweight rematch: the Crimson Tide rolled out nearly a million vehicles in 2014 for Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai, with Mercedes expanding at Tuscaloosa to introduce a new model,” Business Facilities noted in its ranking report.

Alabama’s “world-class on-site training for advanced manufacturing,” is cited for a No. 2 ranking among “Workforce Training Leaders.” AIDT, which has trained 600,000 Alabamians since its founding in 1971, is a division of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“We’re proud of the efforts that these rankings represent,” Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “But there is still much work to be done. With a new workforce incentive structure and a streamlining of resources, we’re poised for even greater things in Alabama.”

Under Governor Robert Bentley’s leadership, Commerce is expanding its responsibilities in workforce development with key programs being consolidated within the department. AIDT remains the centerpiece of Alabama’s workforce development efforts.

AIDT is considered one of the state's strongest economic development assets.

AIDT is considered one of the state’s strongest economic development assets.

“It’s always nice when rankings come out and people outside of the state recognize the job you’re doing as an organization,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary for Workforce Development and AIDT Director Ed Castile said. “But it really says more about the people of Alabama who go through training and get those advanced skill jobs and make the products that people want. They truly are the best assets we have.”

Alabama also ranked No. 6 among the states in the “Education: Tech Skill Leaders” category and No. 9 for “Lowest Industrial Electricity Rates.”

Business Facilities has been ranking states annually for 11 years.