MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. -- Morgan County officials have momentum. With big money invested in the area last year, more growth is expected this year, and that means more jobs on the way.
"We've got the water, the rail, the highway system," says Jeremy Nails, Morgan County Economic Development CEO.
That, plus access to a well-trained workforce, show companies that Morgan County is a great place, logistically to invest; and they have, bringing 436 new jobs in 2017, the most growth in the area in over five years.
"We were fortunate this year to have more than 500 million dollars in new capital investment from new and expanding industries," Nails said. "The biggest one we had this year was Hexcel."
Not to mention, United Launch Alliance's expansion to build the Vulcan Rocket, Dynetics coming to the area, and the return of Wolverine Tube and its 250 jobs. But they're not stopping there.
"Our pipeline is full of projects but we don't know what their timeline is, or when they're going to announce but it is looking like 2018 is going to be a good year also."
He says local, regional, and state economic development teams work together to bring the investments. These bring both short and long-term perks, like construction work, education taxes, and the permanent 'advanced manufacturing' jobs as they work to bring more to the area.
"We're excited about our growing aerospace industry. Also, metals industries are really hot right now, automotive is always good for the area, so those are our targets for this next year," Nails says.
Leaders say quite a few of the permanent jobs require only a high school diploma, plus additional certification.