MONTGOMERY, Alabama – For the second year in a row, Alabama claimed a Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine for its strong record in economic development.
The publication, targeted at economic development professions and site selection experts, noted that Alabama beat out more than two dozen other states in 2014 to land Remington Outdoor Co.’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant with more than 2,000 employees. The company plans to invest $110 million in the Huntsville facility, and has ramped up hiring.
“Meanwhile, Alabama also landed other major projects in the aerospace and automotive sectors, positioning the state’s three assembly plants to produce more than 1 million vehicles in 2015, which would comprise about 6 percent of the expected U.S. sales total of about 17 million vehicles this year,” Area Development said.
Alabama’s economic developers were busy in 2014. Their efforts yielded more than 18,100 job announcements and new capital investment approaching $3.4 billion last year, according to a report from the Alabama Department of Commerce. Automotive projects alone accounted for 4,900 jobs and nearly $1 billion in new investment in 2014.
“We’re committed to pursuing economic development projects that will deliver high-quality jobs for Alabamians and spur prosperity in communities across the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This award reflects the hard work that economic development organizations around the state are putting into this effort.”
In addition to these economic development efforts, Governor Robert Bentley led a successful push to modernize the state’s incentives platform, which lessens reliance on borrowing. He is also moving to improve educational outcomes and workforce development projects through his appointed Alabama Workforce Council.
Joining Alabama with 2014 Silver Shovel Awards among states with populations between 3 million and 5 million were Kentucky and Louisiana. Area Development said its Gold and Silver Shovel Awards are meant to recognize individual states for their overall economic development effectiveness.
Alabama’s Silver Shovel for 2013 economic development activity followed a Golden Shovel for 2012.