In addition, the economic development-focused publication rated Huntsville No. 1 among U.S. cities for STEM job growth, and No. 3 for economic growth potential. The Rocket City was No. 5 for cost of living.
“This recognition underscores Alabama’s growing competitiveness on a global stage and shows that our strategic efforts to advance the state’s economy are paying off,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Going forward, our team will continue to pursue significant projects that bring new investment from around the world to Alabama, creating well-paying jobs that lift families and communities,” he added.
Late last year, Business Facilities named Alabama its “State of the Year” for 2015, citing a series of dynamic economic development projects from companies including Google and Polaris Industries.
In its 2016 rankings, Business Facilities ranked Alabama No. 3 for its workforce development programs, led by AIDT, a part of the Alabama Department of Commerce. The magazine citied an innovative training center AIDT opened in Birmingham.
“The new 56,000-square-foot facility, located in Birmingham, the state’s largest metro area, will allow for manufacturers, contractors and other industries to link up with AIDT along with public education and the two-year and even four-year colleges to equip students with specific skills needed to fill jobs,” it noted.
Business Facilities ranked Alabama No. 4 for automotive manufacturing strength, the third consecutive year for a high ranking. In 2015, Alabama’s auto assembly plants produced more than 1 million vehicles in a year for the first time.
The publication also ranked Alabama No. 9 among leading states for foreign direct investment, or FDI. Read a report on 2015 FDI in Alabama.
‘LOCATION OF CHOICE’
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the high rankings represent a strong endorsement of his city and the state.
“We take a ranking from Business Facilities as a great honor. This is a prime publication for site selection and it is a great resource for businesses and industries bringing new jobs and growth to our region,” Mayor Battle said.
“It is evidence of what we have been promoting in Huntsville and Alabama. We are the location of choice.”
Business Facilities is a national publication aimed at corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than four decades. It is owned by New Jersey-based Group C Media.
Also this month, global consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP issued a report ranking Alabama No. 5 among the states for new capital investment in 2015 and No. 4 for foreign investment spending.