Huntsville, Montgomery area chambers of commerce win top economic development awards
Two Alabama chambers of commerce on Monday were recognized with prestigious Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development. This honor is presented annually by Site Selection Magazine to the nation’s top 20 local economic development organizations for their exemplary results in bringing prosperity to their communities.
The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber won the award for the third consecutive year, while the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce garnered the distinction for the second year in a row.
This year’s winners were determined by an index that examines corporate facility investment projects in U.S. metro areas in 2020 as tracked by Site Selection’s Conway Projects database. Scores are awarded based on six criteria: total projects, total investment associated with those projects, jobs associated with those projects, and those same three metrics calculated per capita for the metro area.
In Huntsville, the local chamber has worked on projects that have announced more than 28,000 new jobs and more than $8 billion in capital investment since 2010.
“Our region continues to lead the way in economic development and much of the credit goes to the staff and volunteers at the Chambers of Commerce,” stated Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “This award is a much deserved recognition of their professionalism and hard work. I am proud to be a part of the North Alabama team working across City and County lines with these professionals to continue to grow our economy.”
Madison County was well positioned to survive the pandemic, and economic predictions show a recovery in employment by 2022 and GDP by the end of this year, per a release from the area chamber.
“There may never have been a more challenging year than was 2020 for those who work in the vital field of economic development. As businesses reeled and supply chains shuddered, this singular group of professionals stepped forward to help steer communities through the pandemic, the battle against which remains unfinished,” commented Site Selection senior editor Gary Daughters.
In the Montgomery area, 26 new and expanding industrial projects announced capital investment and job growth in 2020. For example, Dollar General selected Alabama’s capital city as the location of their new $26 Million DG Fresh perishable foods distribution center, and Mountain Top Industries — a global leader in manufacturing of aluminum roll covers for truck OEMS — selected Montgomery as the location of their first U.S. production facility.
“We are honored to once again be named among the top 20 Economic Development Organizations in the Country, particularly as we look back at one of the most challenging years any of us can remember,” said Montgomery Chamber Chairman John Yelverton. “In Montgomery, our trusted public private partnership between the City, County and local business leadership, continues to be essential to our ability to bring greater prosperity to the Montgomery area.”
Hyundai also announced the addition of the Tucson SUV to their Montgomery production facility, bringing the total number of vehicles produced at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama to five.
“In spite of the challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chamber continued working to build a better Montgomery. It helped us protect the lives and livelihoods of everyone in our city. This recognition is indicative of the Chamber’s success in expanding economic opportunity and enhancing quality of life in Montgomery,” remarked Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed.
Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean added, “Our economic development team excels in the art of collaboration and partnership through a vision that has been designed and executed by the Chamber, local governments and our business community. Montgomery County is proud to be a part of this partnership.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn