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Canfield to step down after 12 years of service, $70 billion in investment for Alabama

$42 billion.

That’s the figure Governor Kay Ivey referenced as she announced the departure of Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield secured in investment during his time with her administration alone. Over his total tenure in the role, that figure is $70 billion.

Canfield has led the department responsible for the recruitment of businesses to Alabama since 2011. He put his extensive private sector experience and tenure serving in the Alabama Legislature to work for that mission.

“Throughout my time as governor, we have proudly solidified Alabama as a top state for doing business, and no doubt, Greg has been a key part of that success. Together, we have secured more than $42 billion in new investments in our state, which has created 78,000 good-paying jobs,” Governor Ivey said.

“Greg will go down as one of Alabama’s best economic development heads, and he will be noted for projects like Mazda Toyota and credited for branding the Made in Alabama name worldwide. I will forever be grateful for all that Greg has accomplished for our state, and I know he will continue having great success in his career.”

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Under Secretary Canfield’s tenure, Alabama launched its first-ever strategic economic development plan, Accelerate Alabama, established new records in international exports, capital investment and job creation. Secretary Canfield represented Alabama on business and trade missions to 30 countries across the globe and is credited for launching Commerce’s successful rural development strategy.

The Governor’s office praised Canfield, in both his role at Commerce and in the Legislature, for being a champion for pro-business legislation.

Most recently, The Game Plan, Alabama’s economic incentive package, passed in 2023 and will help the state continue attracting businesses and industry, as well as support existing companies for years to come.

RELATED: Economic ‘Game Plan’ put into play by Ivey, Legislature

Ivey tapped Ellen McNair, an economic development veteran, to serve as the next secretary of Commerce. She’s currently the chief economic development officer with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Canfield will continue serving until the end of the year. McNair’s appointment is effective January 1, 2024.

“I am proud to have been a part of Governor Ivey’s cabinet, and I am proud of the team of professionals we have assembled at Commerce,” Sec. Canfield said on Friday.

“I am more confident than ever that Alabama is poised for a robust era of economic expansion that will transform the trajectories of communities and families across the state,” said Secretary Canfield. “I am honored to have made a contribution to the effort to improve Alabama’s future, and I know that the momentum we’ve built will continue to grow in the capable hands of Ellen McNair.”

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McNair, who is taking the helm in the new year, has successfully worked on almost 600 national and international projects with a capital investment of over $8 billion, resulting in almost 30,000 new jobs for the Montgomery community.

“I have known Ellen since my days at the Alabama Development Office, and I know she will be of tremendous value to the state of Alabama,” said Governor Ivey.

McNair was the senior project manager and a member of the negotiating team that brought Hyundai Motors Corporation to Montgomery.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected by Governor Kay Ivey for this very important role. Economic development has been a passion and focus for the governor her entire career,” said McNair. “The success of the state under Governor Ivey’s and Secretary Canfield’s leadership is unprecedented. These will certainly be big shoes to fill.”

“I have great respect for Secretary Canfield and the Commerce team, and we will work together for a smooth transition,” McNair continued.

“The state of Alabama is blessed with many strong local and regional economic development professionals, and I look forward to working closely with them and the entire state team to continue Alabama’s smart and strategic economic development.”

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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