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Area Development Magazine recognizes Alabama third year in a row

Area Development considered the $10.1 billion of capital investment put toward several projects in the state during 2022.

First Solar Inc. plans to invest $1.1 billion to establish a solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County, creating over 700 jobs in North Alabama. The U.S. company already operates plants in Ohio. First Solar

Area Development, the leading national magazine on corporate site selection, recognized Alabama with the 2023 Silver Shovel Award, ranking them first in the 4-6 million population category.

“The Silver Shovel Award is yet another testament to Alabama’s strong pro-business environment and to the talented workers that help these world-class companies grow and thrive,” Gov. Kay Ivey said, announcing the award on Wednesday. “This honor demonstrates that our efforts to create good jobs and spark economic growth are producing bountiful results in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Area Development considered the $10.1 billion of capital investment put toward several projects in the state during 2022. The $2.5 billion aluminum mill in Bay Minette from Novelis earned a spot on Area Development’s Manufacturing Projects of the Year list. The mill is projected to bring 1,000 jobs with it after opening in 2025.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce’s recent report, Airbus is putting $700 million toward an additional assembly line in Mobile. United Launch Alliance is expanding rocket manufacturing in Decatur by $317 million. First Solar is constructing a $1.1 billion solar panel manufacturing Lawrence County, projected to create over 700 jobs. The beverage companies Diageo and Manna Beverages & Ventures are spending $412,473,500 and $599,595,000 in Montgomery, respectively. Between traditional vehicle manufacturing and MOBIS Electric Vehicle batteries, Hyundai is spending over $600 million in and near Montgomery.

Each of these investments were named as factors in Area Development’s decision, which considers the top 10 capital investment projects in all 50 states.

“Last year was a remarkable one for Alabama’s economic development team. Not only did these professionals secure high-impact growth projects for the state during 2022, but they also managed to set records while doing it,” Greg Canfield, secretary of the Department of Commerce, said. “Their efforts are creating exciting new career opportunities for Alabama citizens and enhanced growth possibilities for communities across the state.”

Area development awarded one platinum shovel award, five gold shovel awards, and fifteen silver shovel awards. Alabama was ranked above South Carolina and Wisconsin. Alabama previously won a 2021 Golden Shovel award which preceded the platinum award and a 2022 Silver Shovel award.

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Samuel Stettheimer is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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