Alabama grabs No. 1 business climate ranking from publication

Alabama grabs No. 1 business climate ranking from publication
Alabama's auto industry, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, is one of the major factors in its annual economic growth. (contributed)

Business Facilities, an economic development-focused publication, ranked Alabama’s business climate tops among the states in a new analysis that examined performance in several key economic categories.

The publication cited Alabama’s successful recruitment of the Toyota-Mazda joint venture automobile manufacturing plant to illustrate the state’s appeal. The project, announced in January, calls for a $1.6 billion investment and 4,000 new jobs in Huntsville.

Besides the No. 1 ranking for Best Business Climate, Business Facilities also gave the state high marks for growth potential and workforce training.

“In Alabama, they’ve nailed the economic development fundamentals — maximizing resources with regional cooperation, a diverse growth strategy, world-class workforce training — and they’re running up the score with one big-ticket project after another,” the publication writes.

Business Facilities said Alabama’s business climate “is hitting on all cylinders,” citing the growth plans of GE Appliances, which is investing $115 million in an expansion in Decatur, and Amazon, which is opening a 1,500-worker fulfillment center in Bessemer.

Gov. Kay Ivey said the high rankings from Business Facilities confirm that Alabama is on the right track for economic growth.

“I’m committed to facilitating the creation of good jobs across Alabama and expanding opportunities for the state’s hard-working citizens,” Ivey said.

“Our efforts have produced a lot of success lately, and we’re going to keep moving forward at full speed on this mission.”

Alabama’s other rankings from Business Facilities were:

  • 2 among state Workforce Training Leaders.
  • 3 for Free Trade Zone Activity (exports).
  • 4 for Economic Growth Potential.
  • 5 for Manufacturing Employment concentration.
  • 6 for Automotive Manufacturing Strength.

Top-ranked cities

In addition, Huntsville and Auburn-Opelika scored highly in Business Facilities’ 14th annual performance rankings, which appeared online this week and will feature in the publication’s July/August print issue.

Huntsville ranked No. 1 for Economic Growth Potential among midsized U.S. cities, while Auburn-Opelika was No. 1 in the same category among small cities.

Business Facilities also ranked Auburn-Opelika No. 3 for job growth among small cities and Huntsville No. 7 for diversity in types of occupations.

“Increasingly, high-performing companies from around the world are discovering that Alabama offers a great business climate and a support system that includes top-flight job training services,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“These rankings are a powerful testament to the hard work that’s been put into positioning Alabama for economic growth.”

Business Facilities is a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace, with a bimonthly magazine, email newsletters and an online news portal. It is owned by New Jersey-based Group C Media.

Alabama was selected by Business Facilities as its “State of the Year” in 2015.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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