By Jerry Underwood
Made In Alabama

Trade & Industry Development, a leading publication dedicated to site selection for business, named three Alabama projects as winners of its top 2019 economic development awards.

The Alabama projects were among 30 across the nation claiming the magazine’s 2019 Corporate Impact/Community Impact (CiCi) Awards.

“Great companies from around the world recognize that Alabama is the ideal destination to carry out their growth plans because of the many advantages we can offer them,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.

“Alabama is open for business, and we plan to keep pursuing economic development projects that lift families and communities.”

The Alabama projects selected by Trade & Industry Development are:

  • Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA’s $1.6 billion auto assembly plant in Huntsville. Now under construction, the factory will create up to 4,000 jobs and strengthen Alabama’s position in the global auto industry.
  • Facebook’s $750 million data center in Huntsville. The social media giant’s facility will create 100 high-paying jobs and provide a boost to Alabama’s recruitment efforts in the technology sector.
  • Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer. The project, valued at $325 million, will create 1,500 jobs and provide a scholarship program for workers at Amazon’s first Alabama fulfillment center.

The Mazda Toyota and Facebook projects both received the publication’s Corporate Impact Award, while the Amazon project claimed a Community Impact Award, according to an announcement from Trade & Industry Development.

An industrial robot turns the first shovel of dirt at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $1.6 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA assembly plant in Huntsville. (Hal Yeager/Governor’s Office)

Shaping communities

Trade & Industry Development said this is the 14th year it has honored projects around the country that promise — through extensive capital investment or significant community impact — to help shape the communities in which they are located.

The publication said the Corporate Investment winners have all pledged large economic development investments, while the Community Impact winners promise to have a transformational effect on the communities where they are locating.

The 30 award-winning projects, all from 2018, represent 28 companies, with a combined total capital investment of nearly $20 billion, Trade & Industry Development said. The number of direct jobs created totals 51,910, with countless more indirect positions associated with these projects.

Only Virginia had more projects on the list, with four. Kentucky and Ohio also had three projects on the list.

Record year

The CiCi Awards follow an active year for Alabama’s economic development team, with companies announcing new facilities and expansion projects totaling $8.7 billion in new capital investment, a new annual record for the state.

These 2018 projects will create an anticipated 17,026 jobs across Alabama and inject economic vitality into many communities.

“Our economic development team’s primary mission is to spur the creation of jobs and opportunities all across Alabama by strategically concentrating our recruitment efforts on high-performing companies with strong growth prospects,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“While the team is always proud to win awards for its efforts, it does not mean that we plan to slow our efforts even for a second.”

Earlier this month, Area Development selected Alabama for its Gold Shovel Award, its top economic development honor for 2018 economic development success.

The publication also selected the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing project as one of its “Deals of the Year” nationally.

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