Cullman ranked no. 3 micropolitan in U.S. for industry in 2020

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Gov. Kay Ivey (center), accompanied by (left to right) Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer, Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, former CEDA Director and current Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Interim President and CEO Peggy Smith and Reliance Worldwide Corporation Americas CEO Sean McClenaghan, broke ground at the site of Reliance Worldwide’s new Cullman distribution facility in October 2020. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The city of Cullman has been recognized by Site Selection magazine as the no. 3 micropolitan in the nation in the magazine’s Top 100 Micropolitans for industrial growth in 2020. Cullman boasted 12 qualifying industrial projects during the year. Site Selection studies industrial development and expansion in cities across the country and ranks municipalities according to the number of qualifying industrial projects that meet one of three standards: capital investment of at least $2 million; creation of a minimum of 20 new jobs; or construction or expansion of a building of 20,000 square feet.

Findlay, Ohio ranked no. 1 in with 22 projects.

According to Site Selection, the U.S. has 543 micropolitan areas, cities with a population of between 10,000 and 50,000. Cullman was the highest ranking Alabama micropolitan. The second highest, Jasper, tied with five other cities across the country for 11th place.

Cullman tied for sixth place in 2019 based on seven qualifying projects.  

Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer commented, “A no. 3 (national) micropolitan ranking for Cullman is a truly great honor and it is even more remarkable that Cullman has been ranked in the Top 10 for seven consecutive years. The ranking is based on the number of  industrial projects: manufacturing, distribution, headquarters or research and development, and must meet specified criteria to quality.

“While it obviously gives economic development agencies some bragging rights, it is truly a community achievement. Ranking high year after year is a positive reflection on the success of the companies here, the qualified labor force in Cullman County and the business climate in the state of Alabama. Combine that with competitive utilities rates, supportive city and county industrial development boards, pro-growth county and city elected officials, excellent education programs and facilities, state and regional economic development partners and you have a recipe for success in Cullman County. The Alabama Department of Commerce and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) make us more competitive in recruiting new companies and growing our existing ones.”

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs shared, “A history of success speaks volumes about our community. I am proud of our economic development agency and the industrial base for earning a no. 3 ranking for 2020 out of 543 micropolitans in America. Having a dozen qualifying projects in a COVID marred year is great work.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com