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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The state of Alabama received the “Gold Shovel Award” from the national business publication Area Development.

According to a news release from the Governor’s Office, Alabama earned the award due to “the state’s economic development success in the manufacturing sector” in spite of a chaotic year for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This Gold Shovel award is a testament to Alabama’s skillful workforce and to the pro-business environment that makes [our] state such an attractive location for investment,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “High-performing companies from all over the world have discovered that they can find all the competitive advantages they need to success with their growth projects right here in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Alabama previously claimed the “Gold Shovel Award” in 2006, 2013, and 2019.

“The chief goal of Alabama’s economic development team is to help spark the creation of jobs and opportunity throughout the state by strategically focusing on industries with solid long-term growth prospects,” said Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield.

“Winning another Gold Shovel Award demonstrates that our team is executing on this plan and delivering results that make a difference for the state and its hard-working citizens,” Canfield continued.

The other states awarded by Area Development this year were Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah.