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2022 economic development projects brought record capital investment

Economic development generated $10.1 billion in new capital investment in 2022.

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Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that economic development activity in Alabama generated $10.1 billion in new capital investment during 2022, a new annual record.

Ivey said the 2022 Alabama Economic Development Impact Report, compiled by the Alabama Department of Commerce, shows that investment tied to economic development projects last year topped the previous record of $8.7 billion, set in 2018.

“Strategic economic development has been a top priority of my administration since I first became governor because I fully understand the impact it can have on our citizens, their families and their communities,” Ivey said. “This success is blatant evidence that our efforts are producing a brighter future for the great state of Alabama.”

Growth projects announced in 2022 generated 13,078 job commitments across the state, according to Commerce’s comprehensive annual report. That figure tops the previous year’s total of 10,190.

Many of the new jobs are being created in key industrial sectors, according to Commerce’s 2022 report. This includes over 2,800 new positions in the automotive industry, nearly 1,900 in the metals and advanced materials sector, and more than 1,500 in aerospace/aviation/defense.

“These results mean Alabama’s economic development team is making a real difference in shaping a more prosperous future for the hard-working citizens of our state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “And, while we’re proud of setting records, we’re just going to keep on working to deliver a better tomorrow for Alabama.”

Global corporations including Airbus, Hyundai and Toyota all announced high-impact investment projects in Alabama last year. Other successes included:

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Novelis announced plans for a $2.5 billion aluminum mill with 1,000 workers in Bay Minette, the first facility of its kind to be built in the U.S. in over 40 years.

First Solar Inc., the largest U.S.-based manufacturer of solar panels, announced plans for a $1.1 billion factory with over 700 workers in Lawrence County, the largest project to land in a rural county in recent years.

Advanced ACT announced plans for a remote air traffic control tower center in Selma that is poised to revolutionize air space management in the U.S. through its technology to serve multiple airports from one location.

The First Solar and Advanced ATC projects are among those announced in 2022 that will bring nearly $1.8 billion in new investment, along with 1,900 jobs, to Alabama’s “targeted,” or rural, counties. Since 2020, rural Alabama has been selected for growth projects involving $4 billion in investment and 5,500 job commitments.

“These projects demonstrate our firm commitment to sparking sustainable economic growth in Alabama’s rural areas — a priority that is very important to me,” Ivey said.

According to Commerce’s economic development report, Baldwin led the counties in new investment during 2022, with $2.5 billion, followed by Montgomery ($1.7 billion), Mobile ($1.4 billion) and Lawrence ($1.1 billion).

Montgomery was the top county for job creation, with 1,491 new positions, ahead of Mobile (1,451), Jefferson (1,259) and Baldwin (1,170), the report says.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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