Alabama Reports $4.8B Invested into State in 2020
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Nayeli Pineda
MONTGOMERY – Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama’s economic development continues to grow.
“While 2020 was far from being a normal year, Alabama’s economic development efforts made a steady and important contribution to the state’s growth prospects,” said Governor Ivey. “Companies from around the world continue to find all the ingredients they need for success right here in Alabama.”
The just released 2020 New and Expanding Industry Report indicates that the 230 economic development projects finished last year resulted in $4.8 billion in capital investments and nearly 9,500 new jobs.
The 2020 report, created by the Alabama Department of Commerce, also details that some of the most significant state projects were launched in traditional Alabama industries, including steelmaking and mining. Meanwhile, Warrior Met Coal is creating a new $529 million underground mine in Tuscaloosa County bringing with it 359 new jobs.
2020 brought a flurry of distribution and logistics sector activities to the state. This includes large-scale projects from ALDI, Amazon, Dollar General, Lowe’s Home Improvement and FedEx. Holistically, these projects call for over $500 million in new capital investment and the achievement of at least 2,000 jobs in the state.
Alabama’s auto sector is also thriving despite COVID-19. The auto projects in the state have totalled a whopping $1.6 billion in investments, creating 2,600 new job commitments. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing has its sights set on Huntsville with an $813 million assembly plant investment while Mercedes Benz promises $54 million for a logistics center in Tuscaloosa County created to support electric vehicle production.
Alabama’s rural counties have also gained nearly 2,000 job commitment and $615 million in new capital investments despite the pandemic.
Some of the significant projects located in rural counties include:
- Resource Fiber is opening a facility in Sulligent to manufacture bamboo nail laminated timbers and bamboo rail ties, creating 111 jobs in Lamar County.
- Coastal Growers LLC is constructing an $87 million peanut shelling plant in Atmore, creating over 100 jobs and positioning the Escambia County city as a central hub for farmers needing that resource.
- Canada’s Pinnacle Renewable Energy is teaming with two Alabama companies to construct a $95 million industrial wood pellet plant in Demopolis that will create at least 45 jobs in Marengo County.
The 2020 report also indicates that Alabama has international appeal. Companies from 13 different countries publicized plans to invest $2.7 billion in Alabama during 2020, creating 2,700 new jobs.
The top 5 counties for job creation through the economic development projects were Jefferson, Lee, Tuscaloosa, Cullman and Madison.
“Working diligently to overcome obstacles, Alabama’s economic development team managed to bring home solid results last year that will help advance the state’s economic revival,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Looking ahead, the economic development pipeline for 2021 continues to flow with high-caliber projects that are poised to bring new opportunities to Alabama.”