Business Facilities magazine names Alabama ‘2015 State of the Year’

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Wednesday Governor Bentley announced that Business Facilities magazine selected Alabama as its “2015 State of the Year.” Bentley said landing many coveted economic development projects, including Polaris Industries, Google and others contributed to Alabama getting the title. This is the first time Alabama has been named to the site-selection publication’s highest award.

“This has been an extremely successful year for economic development in Alabama, and Business Facilities’ ranking is fantastic news,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Our chief focus continues to revolve around creating jobs and new opportunities for residents across the state. I believe we are well-positioned to do that thanks to the state’s skilled workforce, great job-training programs, and a business environment that promotes growth.”

Governor Bentley’s office said in Business Facilities’ evaluation of the states, it looked at the top five economic development projects in terms of job creation and capital investment between Oct. 1, 2014 and Nov. 1, 2015. Alabama’s award was announced on the publication’s website Wednesday and will be featured in a cover story in the magazine’s January/February issue.

“The Crimson Tide has brought in a bevy of big-ticket projects that have provided a solid foundation for future growth,” Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said. “With Mercedes-Benz and Airbus anchoring its top-tier positions in automotive and aerospace manufacturing, an expanding high-tech hub and forward-thinking leadership in 21st-century workforce training, Alabama has put together a winning combination that’s tough to beat.”

In addition to Polaris and Google, other Alabama projects highlighted by Business Facilities included:

  • Mercedes’ plans to invest $1.3 billion to expand its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant and prepare it for the production of next-generation SUVS. The project will add 300 jobs; many of them highly paid engineering positions.
  • Auto supplier Kamtek’s $530 million project to expand its Birmingham facility and add a new aluminum casting line, creating 350 jobs.
  • Yorozu plans to open a plant to produce auto suspension parts in Jasper, generating 300 new jobs.

“Alabama’s economic team will continue to work tirelessly to bring companies such as Google and Polaris to the state, and our support system will help these firms achieve success,” Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce said. “Our ability to attract companies of this caliber makes a strong statement about doing business in Alabama. With the new “Made in Alabama” incentives platform prioritized by Governor Bentley and the Alabama Legislature and a streamlined approach to workforce development, now centered in Commerce, we will enhance the state’s competitiveness in 2016 and beyond.”

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.