Cullman secures no. 2 micropolitan ranking: A testament to community and development

An employee hard at work at REHAU, one of Cullman’s major industrial manufacturers (CEDA)
An employee hard at work at REHAU, one of Cullman’s major industrial manufacturers (CEDA)

Updated March 1, 2024, at 5:12 p.m.

CULLMAN, Ala. — Cullman has been named by Site Selection Magazine as the no. 2 micropolitan in the country.

Said Site Selection, “Cullman, Alabama, a consistent Top 5 presence, has risen this year to No. 2, its highest ranking ever. Cullman, halfway between Huntsville and Birmingham in the heart of Alabama’s manufacturing belt, accumulated 11 qualifying investments to Findlay’s (Findlay, Ohio) typically outsized haul of 25. Highlighted by a $350 million Walmart logistics expansion, the combined value of Cullman’s qualifying investments — $472 million — far eclipsed Findlay’s total of $266 million.”

Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) Project Manager Stanley Kennedy and Director Dale Greer talked about the significance of Cullman’s achievement as the no. 2 micropolitan in the nation, saying the accolade not only highlights the community’s unwavering dedication, but also its collective efforts toward growth and prosperity.

“Being ranked no. 2 nationally is a remarkable achievement,” Greer stated. “It reflects the strength of our industrial base, but it also underscores every aspect of our community and how we work together as local government.” This collaborative spirit is seen as a driving force behind the city’s economic vitality.

A micropolitan is described by Site Selection as cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people that cover at least one county.

Kennedy emphasized that the ranking is a testament to the tangible outcomes of the community’s hard work, including job creation, capital investment and facility expansion. “Companies don’t make those types of investments without believing in our community and our people,” he noted, underscoring the city’s success in attracting significant projects.

Greer added, “Companies do not grow and expand in a city and county unless they have a trainable and reliable workforce, good quality of life, dependable utility services, quality education and strong community support.”

Cullman’s consistent performance among the top micropolitan areas in the United States is noteworthy. “The fact Cullman has been listed in the top 20 a total of 18 times in the 22-year history of the ranking is something that should make all of us proud,” Greer remarked. He also pointed out the importance of industry diversity, allowing the city to thrive in any economic condition.

Reflecting on the city’s history of achievement, Kennedy recalled 2005 as the inaugural year Cullman was named in the top 3, marking the beginning of its journey toward national recognition in development and community success.

Both Kennedy and Greer expressed their gratitude toward the entire community for its role in Cullman’s continued success. From leadership at all levels to the individuals contributing to the city’s prosperity every day, it’s a collective effort that has positioned Cullman as one of the best communities in the country, they said. “We thank you for showing the nation and the world what a special place we have,” Kennedy concluded, echoing Greer’s sentiment of pride and accomplishment.