By Jerry Underwood
Made in Alabama

National publication Site Selection again rated Alabama among the top states in its annual State Business Climate survey, reflecting its consistent attractiveness for high-value economic development projects.

Overall, Site Selection ranked Alabama No. 8 in its Business Climate analysis, tied with Indiana. In a survey that is a major component of the Site Selection analysis, consultants and corporate real estate executives placed Alabama No. 7 among the states.

Alabama scored in the Top 10 in both categories in the 2016 and 2017 Site Selection surveys.

“The primary strategic objective of Alabama’s economic development team is to facilitate the creation of high-caliber jobs that benefit the state’s citizens and its communities,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This high ranking, along with others the state has received recently, underscores that our team is consistently executing our strategy and achieving positive results for Alabama.”

Gov. Kay Ivey and Mercedes-Benz officials hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a Mercedes battery plant in Bibb County. (contributed)

Between 2011 and 2017, economic development activity generated $33 billion in new capital investment to Alabama, along with 125,000 anticipated jobs, according to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce.

In 2017, new capital investment tied to projects exceeded $4 billion, along with 15,000 jobs, the data show.

This year, Alabama has attracted a series of major projects in key industrial sectors, led by Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA’s $1.6 billion auto assembly plant that will create 4,000 jobs in Huntsville.

Industry leaders including FacebookAmazonHyundai and Honda have announced major Alabama projects in 2018.

Facebook plans to invest $750 million to open a new data center in Huntsville with 100 workers. (Facebook)

Recognizing results

The high ranking in Site Selection’s 2018 Business Climate survey represents the latest recognition earned by Alabama and its economic development team. Others recent examples include:

  • Business Facilities, another economic development-focused publication, ranked Alabama’s business climate tops among the states in an analysis that examined performance in several key economic categories. Besides the No. 1 ranking for Best Business Climate, Business Facilities gave the state high marks for growth potential and workforce training.
  • Area Development, a national publication, ranked Alabama No. 3 in its 2018 “Top States for Business” survey and gave the state top honors for most improved economic development policies.
  • Global Trade, a publication focusing on international business, selected Alabama as the nation’s top state for manufacturing in a comprehensive ranking.
  • Area Development selected Alabama for its Silver Shovel Award, recognizing the state’s economic development successes in 2017. It marked the fifth consecutive year the state has won the Silver Shovel.

Georgia claimed the top spot in the new Site Selection rankings.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.