Alabama scores in Top 10 in publication’s 2020 economic development rankings
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Alabama’s ability to overcome the complex challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to economic development earned the state a Top 10 ranking in “Site Selection” magazine’s annual Governor’s Cups analysis.
Alabama ranked No. 9 among the states in job-creating economic development projects per capita, a measurement that places smaller states on a more level playing field in the analysis. The state’s per capita ranking in 2019 was No. 6.
In addition, Huntsville, Decatur, Auburn-Opelika and Cullman all earned high rankings in the 2020 “Site Selection” analysis.
Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the positive results in the closely watched Governor’s Cups analysis underscore how economic developers across the state were able to spur job growth and attract new investment amid the pandemic’s uncertainties.
“These rankings really speak to the commitment of Alabama’s economic development team to identify meaningful opportunities for citizens in our state through job creation and to pursue that mission despite disruptive challenges,” Secretary Canfield said.
“The rankings also serve as a strong reminder that Alabama remains a very attractive location for corporate decision-makers because of a pro-business environment, a motivated workforce and top-ranked job-training programs,” he added.
The Governor’s Cups rankings show:
- With 121 qualified projects in 2020, Alabama finished just outside the Top 10 in the “Site Selection” ranking of the states by number of projects. Pennsylvania was No. 10, with 123 projects.
- With 9 qualified projects, Decatur ranked No. 2 among metros with a population of less than 200,000 in the total project rankings and No. 4 in the per-capita rankings.
- Auburn-Opelika placed at No. 6 in this same population category for total projects and No. 9 in the per-capita rankings. The metro had 7 projects counted by “Site Selection.”
- Huntsville, with 22 projects, ranked No. 3 among metros with populations between 200,000 and 1 million in the per-capita projects ranking. The metro was No. 7 in the total projects ranking.
With 12 projects, Cullman ranked No. 3 among the 2020 Top Micropolitans for number of projects, reinforcing its perennial ranking in this category of the “Site Selection” analysis. The city ranked No. 6 in the previous year.
In an article, the magazine noted how two Cullman companies – HomTex and JELCO – pivoted their traditional manufacturing activities in 2020 to produce much-needed personal protective equipment, or PPE.
Atlanta-based “Site Selection” has awarded the Governor’s Cup award each year since 1988 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 new jobs, or 20,000 square feet or more of new space. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals.
“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” said Mark Arend, editor in chief of “Site Selection.”
Ohio ranked No. 1 for projects per capita in 2020, while Texas was tops for the overall number of projects.
(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)