By Michael Tomberlin
Alabama NewsCenter

Alabama Power has one of the most successful economic development teams in the country, according to a new report from Site Selection Magazine.

The economic development publication recognized the 20 U.S. utilities with the best track record for recruiting and expanding industry last year.

For Alabama Power, the magazine cited the $2.1 billion in new capital investment and the 4,472 jobs created by projects the power company assisted with last year.

Site Selection also noted the work Alabama Power has devoted to community and workforce development beyond the traditional recruitment and expansion efforts of an economic development department.

Patrick Murphy, vice president of Marketing and Economic Development at Alabama Power, said there’s a reason for that – economic development is not just a department at Alabama Power.

“Economic development is at the core of what Alabama Power is as a company,” Murphy said. “In reality, our entire company works every day to better the lives and create opportunities for the people in our state.”

Murphy is part of a team of economic developers who work with other specialists throughout the company to help communities be better prepared for opportunity when it comes.

The Site Selection citation pointed to efforts like Alabama Power’s speculative building program, an initiative to create the MAST (McIntosh, Axis, Saraland and Theodore) chemicals industry corridor in the areas north of Mobile, and the company’s role in creating Opportunity Alabama, a 501(c)3 dedicated to linking investors to distressed communities identified as opportunity zones.

Just as Alabama Power takes a team approach to economic development within the company, Murphy said it has found the same approach works outside of it.

“I think we’re successful because we are part of a successful team that includes the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, our allies and local economic developers across the state,” Murphy said. “It makes it easier when you have a state as marketable as Alabama. Our state has so much to offer and it’s up to us to make sure we are presenting those opportunities to others. When others see Alabama the way we do, it makes a huge difference.”

This story originally appeared on the Alabama NewsCenter website.