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Alabama’s business climate scores near top in new rankings

Business Facilities, a national economic development publication, ranked Alabama’s business climate among the top states in an analysis evaluating key economic categories.

Alabama earned the No. 5 spot in the magazine’s flagship business climate ranking, while also earning high marks for workforce training, manufacturing employment and output, and the horsepower of the state’s auto industry.

“High-performing companies from around the globe are discovering that Alabama provides a favorable business environment, motivated workers, and a support system that helps foster success,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“These rankings reflect all the hard work that has gone into positioning Alabama for sustainable economic growth,” he added.

Business Facilities published its 17th Annual Ranking Report online today. Besides the high ranking for business climate, Alabama also earned these rankings:

  • Customized training — No. 3
  • Manufacturing employment (percentage of workforce) — No. 6
  • Automotive manufacturing — No. 6
  • Manufacturing output (percentage of GDP) — No. 8

The publication singled out AIDT for its long-standing accomplishments and its evolving approaches to workforce training. Since 1971, AIDT has assisted companies with recruiting, assessing and training more than 970,000 job seekers.

“For nearly 50 years, AIDT has stayed at the forefront of workforce development through its innovative approaches to common issues, and its ability to partner with education and industry leaders, as well as other state agencies,” it notes.

“This includes the continuous evolution of training techniques such as e-learning through modules and webinars, virtual reality training and more traditional hands-on learning.”

Alabama consistently ranks high in the “Business Facilities” report, including a No. 3 finish for business climate in 2019. Alabama claimed magazine’s “State of the Year” Award in 2015.

Business Facilities also singled out several Alabama metro areas in its new report.

  • Huntsville — No. 4 Millennial Magnet
  • Mobile — No. 5 Best Business Climate (population below 200,000)
  • Birmingham-Hoover — No. 5 Health Care Hubs
  • Huntsville — No. 6 Tech Hubs (growth potential)
  • Decatur — No. 7 Manufacturing Hubs

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

The rankings follow a strong year for Alabama’s economic development team, which overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to attract projects with close to $5 billion in new capital investment.

The projects will create an anticipated 10,000 jobs across the state and inject economic vitality into many communities, according to an analysis prepared by the Alabama Department of Commerce.

In June, Area Development magazine selected Alabama for its Gold Shovel Award for economic development success in manufacturing during 2020. Alabama was one of just three states to claim the award.

Alabama’s ability to overcome the complex economic development challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic also recently earned the state a Top 10 ranking in Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cups analysis.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)