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Business Facilities Magazine awards Alabama its best business climate ranking

Outlined Alabama US state on grade school chalkboard

Tuesday Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that Business Facilities Magazine, an economic development-focused publication, ranked Alabama’s business climate at the top among the states in a new analysis that examined performance in several key economic categories.

The publication cited Alabama’s successful recruitment of the Toyota-Mazda joint venture automobile manufacturing plant to illustrate the state’s appeal.

The Toyota-Mazda plant project in Limestone County was announced in January 2018. It is a $1.6 billion investment and will add 4,000 new jobs to the booming Huntsville area.

Besides the No. 1 ranking for Best Business Climate, Business Facilities also gave the state high marks for growth potential and workforce training.

Gov. Ivey said that the high rankings from Business Facilities confirm that Alabama is on the right track for economic growth.

“I’m committed to facilitating the creation of good jobs across Alabama and expanding opportunities for the state’s hard-working citizens,” Gov. Ivey said. “Our efforts have produced a lot of success lately, and we’re going to keep moving at full speed on this mission.”

Business Facilities said that Alabama’s business climate “is hitting on all cylinders.” Business Facilities cited the recent announcement that GE Appliances is investing $115 million in an expansion of its Decatur plant. They also cited Amazon’s recent announcement that the online retailer is opening a 1,500-worker fulfillment center in Bessemer.

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“In Alabama, they’ve nailed the economic development fundamentals — maximizing resources with regional cooperation, a diverse growth strategy, world-class workforce training — and they’re running up the score with one big-ticket project after another,” Business Facilities Magazine wrote.

Economic Developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Through collaboration and leadership, Alabama has fostered an environment conducive for economic growth. Governor Ivey, the Alabama Department of Commerce, and thousands of members of the public and private sector work daily to make Alabama a place where a myriad of industries can grow and prosper.” Nicole Jones said, “Economic development is a continuous process of cultivating relationships, investing in human capital, and working with communities to find their hidden talent within. We work together as a team, and ultimately, it is that heart and the quality of life people experience in Alabama that solidifies every project.”

Alabama’s other rankings from Business Facilities were: No. 2 among state Workforce Training Leaders, No. 4 for Economic Growth Potential, No. 5 for Manufacturing Employment concentration, No. 6 for Automotive Manufacturing Strength, and No. 3 for Free Trade Zone Activity (exports).

Both Huntsville and Auburn-Opelika scored highly in Business Facilities’ 14th annual performance rankings, which appeared online this week and will appear in the publication’s July/August print issue.
Huntsville was ranked No. 1 for Economic Growth Potential among mid-size U.S. cities. Auburn-Opelika was No. 1 for Economic Growth Potential among small cities.

Business Facilities ranked Auburn-Opelika No. 3 for job growth among small cities and Huntsville was ranked No. 7 for diversity in types of occupations.

“Increasingly, high-performing companies from around the world are discovering that Alabama offers a great business climate and a support system that includes top-flight job training services,” said Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “These rankings are a powerful testament to the hard work that’s been put into positioning Alabama for economic growth.”

Business Facilities is a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace, with a bi-monthly magazine, e-mail newsletters and an online news portal. It is owned by New Jersey-based Group C Media.

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Alabama was selected by Business Facilities as its “State of the Year” in 2015.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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