Skip to Content
Download Image

Commerce Secretary Canfield: Alabama primed for economic development success

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama’s aggressive marketing efforts, combined with its Accelerate Alabama economic development plan, put the state in the driver’s seat for recruiting companies and helping them expand within its borders.

In fact, a Wells Fargo senior economist recently said the state is poised for even stronger gains in 2013. Mark Vitner, along with Wells-Fargo economic analyst Sara Silverman, outlined the projected gains in a recent economic report.

“Game changing industrial development triumphs, such as the Airbus assembly facility being developed in Mobile and the continued emergence of Alabama’s automotive sector, are combining with catalysts such as Alabama’s Industrial Training (AIDT) program and the key infrastructure improvements, such as those made at the Port of Mobile, to reposition Alabama’s economy to better compete in the global marketplace,” the report said.

Take a look at Alabama’s 2012 New and Expanding Industry Report. It shows an incredible gain in investment in the state with a 148 percent increase as compared to 2010. In 2012, companies announced $5,405,382,649 in investment and 20,847 new jobs coming to Alabama. That was up from $4,083,056,603 and 17,248 jobs in 2011.

Our growing corporate base includes companies big and small, from those starting up to internationally-known firms. Last week, Alabama had four major industry announcements. Mercedes announced that it will build a new logistics hub that will employ 600 people.  More than 200 construction workers also will be hired for this project and Alabama suppliers and contractors will be predominantly used, according to B.L. Harbert International, which has been chosen to build the facility.

Two aerospace firms announced plans — GE Aviation in Auburn and Vector Aerospace in Andalusia.  Honda’s Alabama plant recorded a milestone with the beginning of mass production of the 2014 Acura MDX.

A week earlier, Fortune Magazine named Intuitive Research and Technology Corp. in Huntsville as one of the country’s top 25 small companies in which to work.

These announcements don’t happen by themselves. The expansion and recognition of companies show that Alabama’s corporate community has confidence in the team members it finds in Alabama as well as the positive climate for business.

The best proof of success may be the projects being built here — projects such as Carpenter Technology Corp., which is constructing a state-of-the-art, $500 million manufacturing facility in Limestone County.

Approximately 3,000 construction workers will be engaged on site over the course of the project. Of this number, the total of workers on site at one time will peak at approximately 600, due to the phased nature of the project.  The value of construction work alone being put in place per month will peak at around $25 million in the fall (not including the cost of capital process equipment which Carpenter is handling directly). The current project will be complete early next year.  Turner Construction is the contractor for the project.

Another big project requiring large numbers of construction workers is Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group. Construction is rapidly moving forward on the project, which is expected to bring 300 jobs to Wilcox County. Employment could eventually grow to as many as 500 workers. Hoar Construction of Birmingham is the program manager for the project.

The reach of the Airbus project in Mobile is mind-boggling. Airbus will create about 2,500 construction jobs to build a new $600 million airliner assembly plant in Mobile and 400 to 500 full-time jobs once production starts in 2017.  Hoar will also be the program manager for the project.

We will continue to recruit fine companies by following through with our economic development plan. We are striving to attract key companies in 11 targeted industry sectors and are clearly making progress as we meet with companies across the globe. Our project managers travel Alabama’s highways to work with existing companies. Our small business manager does the same with small businesses.  Our international trade director takes Alabama companies all over the world to help them find new markets for their products. (Read about a recent trip to Sweden and Norway.)

Time and time again, Alabama has proven itself to be highly competitive and successful in economic development and 2013 will be no exception. To have even more products “Made in Alabama” is the goal of everyone on our economic development team.

Photo by: Greg Canfield, left, and AT&T’s Fred McCallum, rear

AT&T investment in Alabama approaches $1.4 billion over three years

Stay connected to what's happening in Alabama now.

  • Enter your email address to receive periodic updates on the evolution of business in Alabama.

Ready to start your company's next chapter in Alabama?

Alabama may be small in size, but its ability to accommodate businesses seeking success is vast. See why companies like Mercedes, Airbus, Hyundai, and Honda have decided to call Alabama home.

Find A Site Learn More About Alabama