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Area Development ranks Alabama a top state for business, touts labor force

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Leading site consultants from around the nation again picked Alabama as a top state for business, citing its competitive labor costs and ranking it highly in numerous other categories that are key to economic developers, according to a survey in Area Development magazine.

For the fourth consecutive year, Alabama ranks among the top five states for doing business, according Area Development.

“Alabama has a positive business climate, and we’re always working to attract more new jobs,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We have a strong workforce, and our job training program is recognized for excellence throughout the business community. We have a statewide economic development plan called Accelerate Alabama, which focuses on recruiting high-paying jobs from a variety of industries. We’re spreading the message that Alabama is a great place to do business, and I’m proud that, once again, Area Development is recognizing Alabama’s progress.”

In its “2013 Top Ten States for Doing Business” report released today, Area Development ranked Alabama fourth in the nation overall. Alabama also ranked as a top five state in 15 specifc economic development categories. Within those categories, Alabama ranked:

#1 for Competitive Labor Costs

#2 for Right-to-Work Environment

#2 for Speed of Permitting

#3 for Overall Labor Climate

#3 for Cost of Doing Business

#3 for Competitive Utility Rates

#3 for Most Favorable Regulatory Environment

#3 for Incentive Programs

#4 for Consultants’ Site Location Choice – States Most Mentioned by Respondents

#4 for Overall Business Environment

#4 for Overall Top Ten State for Doing Business

#4 for Leading Workforce Development Programs

#4 for Overall Infrastructure & Global Access

#5 for Cooperative State Government

#5 for Certified Sites/Shovel Ready Programs

Read the report on Alabama.

Area Development is a national business publication covering site selection and facility planning. The rankings published today resulted from a survey of leading site selection consultants nationwide. Area Development asked a group of highly-respected consultants who work with a nationwide client base to name their top-five state choices in several site selection categories.

In describing Alabama, Area Development wrote: “Alabama has a proven track record in economic development and 2013 promises to be another strong year. State and local leaders are working together to carry out Accelerate Alabama, the state’s long-term economic development plan based on three economic development drivers: recruitment of new business and industry, retention and expansion of existing businesses and industry, and creating jobs through innovation, entrepreneurship, research and development, and commercialization.”

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said the state’s No. 3 ranking in overall labor climate reflects highly on the quality of its workforce development programs and employees who are eager to help companies succeed. Read how Alabama educators and economic developers are teaming for new workforce development strategies.

“These rankings have real meaning because they are driven by the very site consultants who have actually done business across the nation, the Southeast and in Alabama,” Secretary Canfield said. “Our continued year-over-year improvement in the number of top-five rankings is further proof that Governor Bentley’s economic development priorities are taking root and producing real results across our state.”

Recent recognition

Alabama’s high ranking from Area Development come on the heels of awards announced this week by Business Facilities magazine, another national trade publication targeting site consultants and economic developers. Alabama ranked in the Top 10 in six different categories in Business Facilities 2013 Rankings Report, an annual report card of how U.S. states are performing in economic development. In July, Alabama earned a Top 10 spot in a ranking of state business climates by Pollina Corporate Real Estate and the American Economic Development Institute.

A full review of Area Development‘s “Top States for Doing Business” survey, along with commentary on the results from several well-respected consultants to industry, is presented in the magazine’s third quarter issue and posted online here.

Area Development is published quarterly and also maintains several websites. It also has produced more than 25 Best Practices Consultants Forums for economic developers since 2006.

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