Cullman County no. 1 in state for overall economic development and expansion


Gov. Kay Ivey and Topre America President Hideo Shimizu cut the ribbon on Topre’s new building and celebrated the company’s newly-announced $80 million expansion project, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Commerce has released numbers on industrial growth in the state in 2017, and the numbers for Cullman County are impressive.  The county ranked first in the state in overall economic development projects and in expansion projects, and among the top 10 in the state in capital investment and new jobs created by those industry expansions.  The numbers on overall new job creation fell well behind other scores but remained only one place out of the top third of counties in the state.

State of Alabama total numbers

  • 317 Economic Development Projects
    • 61 New Industry Projects
    • 256 Expanding Industry Projects
  • $4,413,562,055 in Capital Investment
    • $1,696,919,260 New Investment
    • $2,716,642,795 Expanding Investment
  • 15,465 New Jobs
    • 7,098 jobs from New Industry
    • 8,367 jobs from Expanding Industry

Cullman County numbers

  • 31 economic development projects
  • 253 new jobs created
  • $61,923,438 in capital investment

Cullman County’s rankings out of 67 counties

  • #1 in Total Economic Development Projects
  • #1 in Expansion Projects
  • #9 in Jobs Created by Expansion Projects
  • #9 in Capital Investment by Expansion Projects
  • #13 in Overall Capital Investment
  • #23 in Overall Jobs Created

After receiving the report, Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer told The Tribune:

“The Cullman County numbers released by the Alabama Department of Commerce are very similar to the $68 million in the previous year and continue to reflect the strong industry base that exits here.  Cullman continually ranks among the best in Alabama and the nation for number of companies that expand after locating here. That growth is validation that the companies can attract and retain quality, productive workers, and that their location decision was the right one.”

Greer also warned, “As more people find jobs in Cullman and Alabama, the challenge for all of us is to continue to attract workers here.  Cullman has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state, and Gov. (Kay) Ivey is boasting that more people have jobs in Alabama today than at any time in our history.  That is a double-edged sword, in that people wanting to work can find jobs, but it also makes it difficult for new and expanding companies to attract labor. We must focus more attention as a community on workforce attraction.”

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