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Economic development projects to inject $1.15B into North Alabama communities

MONTGOMERY North Alabama businesses that either launched operations or expanded their facilities last year are poised to make investments of more than $1.15 billion, the governor’s office announced today.

The number is part of some $6.4 billion in capital investments statewide, Gov. Kay Ivey said in releasing the “2023 New and Expanding Industry Announcements Report.” The investments resulted in the creation of 8,095 jobs tied to 184 projects in 43 counties last year, according to the report compiled by the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“We continue to make significant progress in our mission to create solid career opportunities for Alabama citizens and to inject economic vitality into cities and communities across the state,” said Ivey. “I am proud of the fact that since I have been governor, we have seen $49 billion invested in Alabama, which has created some 87,000 new jobs.

“However, we are not taking a victory lap — we are focused on the future and making Alabama the top choice for growing companies.”

Cullman County was the area’s top producer with nearly $489 million in capital investment and creating 643 jobs, mainly led by Walmart’s expansion.

The North Alabama counties cited in the report are:

  • Cullman
    28 expansion projects; 643 jobs; $488,997,600 investment
  • DeKalb
    1 new project; 25 jobs; $4,030,000.
    4 expansion projects; 33 jobs; $20,349,602
  • Jackson
    1 expansion; 35 jobs; $5,020,000
  • Lauderdale
    1 new project; 20 jobs; $3,545,000
    2 expansions; 120 jobs; $140,200,000
  • Lawrence
    1 new project; 85 jobs; $54,200,000
  • Limestone
    2 new projects; 77 jobs; $8,815,000
    3 expansions; 190 jobs; $89,047,220
  • Madison
    9 expansions; 432 jobs; $130,605,200
  • Marshall
    2 expansions; 75 jobs; $9,445,000
  • Morgan
    1 new project; 200 jobs; $125,000,000
    4 expansions; 9 jobs; $74,200,000

According to Commerce’s economic development report, Lee led Alabama counties in attracting new investment during 2023, with $689 million, followed by Montgomery ($629 million), Walker ($525 million) and Cullman ($489 million).

Lee was also the top county for job creation, with 1,251 new positions, ahead of Mobile (743), Jefferson (717) and Cullman (643), the report said.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Many of the new jobs are being created in strategically key industrial sectors. This includes over 1,700 new positions in the automotive industry, almost 1,000 in metals and advanced materials manufacturing, and nearly 700 in information technology.
  • Rural Alabama continues to act as a magnet for growing businesses, as the state’s “targeted” counties attracted $1.7 billion in new capital investment during 2023, along with more than 1,700 job commitments.
  • Foreign direct investment, or FDI, provided a dynamic spark to Alabama’s economy last year. Companies from South Korea, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere combined to invest nearly $3 billion in the state during 2023, contributing almost 3,400 new jobs.

“I’m confident that we’re helping build a more dynamic economy that spreads opportunity far and wide across the state,” said Ellen McNair, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “While we still have a lot of work to do, we have the tools needed for the job, and we’re fully committed to creating 21st century jobs across Alabama.”

Ivey has tasked McNair with spearheading the development of a comprehensive economic development strategic plan by Oct. 1.

“Technology is ever-changing, and we need to be prepared for what’s next in a world moving at digital speed,” said Ivey. “We need new strategies and bold approaches that keep us in the driver’s seat for the next 10 years and beyond.”

The 2023 New & Expanding Industry Announcements Report is available for viewing here.

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