Alabama earns top 10 rankings in Site Selection magazine 2019 Governor’s Cups

Alabama earns top 10 rankings in Site Selection magazine 2019 Governor’s Cups
Gov. Kay Ivey speaks in October at the announcement of an Enviva wood pellets plant in Sumter County. Alabama ranked ninth among all states in 2019 for the total number of economic development projects, and sixth per capita. (contributed)

Alabama’s economic development successes in 2019 earned the state a pair of Top 10 rankings in Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cups analysis.

Alabama ranked No. 6 among the states in projects per capita, a measurement that places smaller states on a more level playing field in the Site Selection analysis. The state’s per capita ranking in 2018 was 14th.

Alabama ranked No. 9 among all states for the number of 2019 economic development projects that met the criteria of the Site Selection analysis, with 150 qualified projects. In 2018, Alabama ranked No. 19.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the high rankings in the closely watched “Governor’s Cups” analysis demonstrate that economic developers across the state are helping to spark job growth and attract new investment.

“These rankings validate the hard work put in by Alabama’s economic development team to create meaningful opportunities for citizens in our state through job creation,” Canfield said.

“The rankings also confirm that Alabama is a very attractive location for corporate decision-makers because of our pro-business policies, our dedicated workforce and our top-ranked job-training programs,” he said.

This is the first year that Alabama has ranked in the Top 10 in both categories.

Officials commemorate the beginning of construction of Blue Origin’s rocket engine factory in Huntsville in January 2019. (contributed)

Top performers

In addition, several Alabama cities and metro areas earned individual rankings from the publication:

  • With seven qualified projects in 2019, Cullman was tied for No. 6 among the nation’s Top Micropolitans, reinforcing its perennial ranking in this category of Site Selection’s analysis. Cullman ranked No. 7 in the previous year’s analysis.
  • Troy and Enterprise shared a No. 31 ranking among 2019’s Top Micropolitans, with three projects each.
  • With 23 qualifying projects, Montgomery ranked No. 9 among Site Selection’s top-performing metro areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million.
  • Auburn-Opelika and Florence-Muscle Shoals both ranked No. 7, with eight projects each, among the nation’s small metros in the 2019 Site Selection analysis.
Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield speaks at the recent Aerojet Rocketdyne Advanced Manufacturing Facility ribbon-cutting in Huntsville. (Hal Yeager/Governor’s Office)

Atlanta-based Site Selection has awarded the Governor’s Cup each year since 1978 to the state with the greatest number of new and expanded corporate facilities, as tracked by a proprietary database.

In 2014, the magazine launched a per capita category to even the playing field for states with smaller populations. Alabama ranked No. 7 that year.

Qualifying projects are those meeting one or more of Site Selection’s criteria for inclusion in the Conway Projects Database: a minimum investment of $1 million, creation of 20 or more jobs, or 20,000 square feet or more of new space.

Georgia ranked No. 1 for projects per capita in 2019, while Texas was tops for the overall number of projects.

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

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