Alabama ranks No. 4 in publication’s 2019 ‘Top States for Business’ survey

Alabama ranks No. 4 in publication’s 2019 ‘Top States for Business’ survey
A row of shovels awaits the ceremonial groundbreaking for auto supplier YKTA's Alabama factory in May. (contributed)

Alabama ranked near the top of Area Development magazine’s 2019 “Top States for Business” survey, continuing a streak of high rankings in the national publication’s annual analysis.

Overall, Alabama earned a No. 4 ranking and Top 10 marks in 11 individual categories in Area Development’s 2019 survey, underscoring the state’s business-friendly environment, leading job-training programs and other advantages for economic development.

“Alabama is a perennial favorite in the upper echelons,” the magazine noted.

The ranking follows a record year for Alabama’s economic development team. In 2018, companies announced projects involving $8.7 billion in new capital investment in the state, the highest total for a year, according to an analysis by the Alabama Department of Commerce. Those projects will bring more than 17,000 direct jobs to the state.

It was also a record year for foreign direct investment, with $4.2 billion in FDI announced for the state.

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield and Gov. Kay Ivey stand beside a Mazda automobile at the site of the future Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA assembly plant in Huntsville. (contributed)

High marks

In the 2019 Area Development survey, Alabama scored in the Top 10 in 11 individual categories. They are:

  • Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, center, joins Honda officials to officially cut the ribbon on the automaker’s new logistics buildings in Lincoln on Aug. 2, 2018. (contributed)

    Favorable general regulatory environment: No. 1

  • Speed of permitting: No. 1 (tied)
  • Most improved economic development policies: No. 2 (tied)
  • Overall cost of doing business: No. 3 (tied)
  • Business incentive programs: No. 4
  • Leading workforce development programs: No. 4
  • Cooperative and responsive state government: No. 4
  • Shovel-ready sites program: No. 5
  • Competitive labor environment: No. 5 (tied)
  • Corporate tax environment: No. 6
  • Favorable utility rates: No. 8 (tied)

“In Alabama, we have made it our mission to adopt high-performance economic development policies and to continuously improve our job-training programs to position all areas of the state for growth,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Our consistently high rankings in this business analysis, as well as others like it, confirm that we are on the right course as we recruit new jobs and investment for Alabama.”

Alabama trailed only Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina in Area Development’s 2019 rankings. North Carolina rounded out the Top 5.

Area Development earlier this year selected Alabama for its Gold Shovel Award, its top honor for economic development success in 2018.

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

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