Companies announced plans for more than 14,700 new jobs and nearly $4.2 billion in capital investment in Alabama during 2016, according to an analysis prepared by the Alabama Department of Commerce that chronicles wide-ranging economic development activity across the state last year.
The 2016 New & Expanding Industry Report, released today by Gov. Kay Ivey and the Commerce Department, provides a detailed look at 405 projects recorded in the state during another solid year of business recruitment and support.
Since 2012, economic development activity in Alabama has attracted $24.5 billion in investment and nearly 90,000 jobs, according to Commerce Department figures. Exact totals for 2016 were $4.199 billion in capital investment and 14,707 new and future jobs.
“The investments made by these companies mean jobs for the citizens of our state, and I’m committed to creating an environment where opportunity flourishes across Alabama,” she added.
The 2016 report reflects another year of strong growth for two industries that are central pillars in the Accelerate Alabama 2.0 economic development blueprint — automotive and aerospace. Both sectors contributed to a record year for Alabama exports. Other segments of Alabama’s economy, ranging from forest products to alternative energy and corporate headquarters, also saw healthy project activity last year, according to the new report.
Foreign companies accounted for nearly $1.6 billion in 2016’s new capital investment, or about 40 percent of the total, a figure in keeping with that of recent years. Austria was the top source of foreign direct investment last year, with projects valued at $666 million.
“We’ve been very strategic in our approach to economic development in Alabama because we want to develop productive partnerships with companies from around the globe that will put down roots in our state and expand over time,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“We’re focused on creating high-caliber jobs and opportunities for hard-working people of our state,” he added.
The momentum has carried over into 2017. Already this year, companies such as Aerojet Rocketdyne, Leonardo and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have announced major economic development projects in Alabama. Together, these projects alone would create 2,000 jobs.
Here are snapshots from the 2016 scorecard for Alabama’s economic development team.
Top projects, ranked by investment:
- Kronospan, an Austria-based maker of laminate flooring, announced a $362 million expansion of its Calhoun County facility.
- BC Foley LLC, a company created by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, is investing $361 million to open the Owa amusement and entertainment complex in Baldwin County.
- Lenzing, another Austrian company, is investing $293 million to expand production of eco-fibers at its plant in Mobile.
Top projects, ranked by job creation:
- BC Foley’s Owa complex will create 620 jobs.
- Lear Operations, an auto supplier, will create 535 jobs with an expansion in Tuscaloosa County.
- Aerospace giant Boeing Co. will add 470 jobs to its Alabama workforce as it expands activities including engineering and the production of missile components in Huntsville.
Top counties, ranked by investment:
Top counties, ranked by jobs:
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.