3 reasons why Alabama ranks number one globally in manufacturing

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About 13 percent of Alabama’s workforce have jobs in manufacturing. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

 Alabama is number one in manufacturing according to Global Trade Magazine. One key factor cited was the state’s over 270,000 Alabamians working in the industry.

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Alabama is named the number one state for manufacturing by Global Trade Magazine.
First, Number One in Manufacturing

Other key factors cited in the number one ranking were AIDT’s workforce development program, growth in auto manufacturing and the state’s leadership role in the aerospace industry.  Global Trade gave Alabama high marks for the state’s AdvantageSites pre-certification program and rapid environmental permitting program for site development.

Global Trade’s ranking comes on the heels of the economic development publication, Business Facilities’ ranking the state as number one in the nation for business climate.  In that ranking, Alabama received high marks for potential business growth and workforce training.

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Global Trade Magazine’s mentions Alabama’s joint venture project, Toyota Mazda in North Alabama. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Toyota Mazda Joint Venture Project Grabs Attention

The Toyota Mazda project, a $1.6 billion joint venture assembly under construction in North Alabama, was key to the number one rankings according to both publications.

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Honda assembly line in Alabama. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Second, A Skilled Workforce

Alabama’s new workforce development initiatives also have played a big role in moving Alabama to the top when it comes to manufacturing. 

A 2017 Gallup poll conducted for the Alabama Department of Commerce  found that Alabama has the highest percentage of highly involved, enthusiastic and engaged workers in the U.S.  That same poll also found that Alabama’s workers are psychological ‘owners,’ who drive performance and innovation.

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Alabama Works links businesses with job seekers for on-the-job training. Photo courtesy of AIDT.
Workforce Development Initiatives 

Over the past two years, Alabama has streamlined its workforce initiatives under the Alabama Department of Commerce program AlabamaWorks.

Alabama Works brings together key components of the K-12 and two-year college systems, state workforce training and placement services with industry.  The program connects businesses with job seekers by linking them to career and job training opportunities.

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Growth in auto manufacturing is one factor that places Alabama at the top when it comes to manufacturing. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

 “Alabama Works is about taking Alabama to the national forefront of workforce development.  Every person in Alabama who wants to find a job can and every employer that comes to Alabama will be able to hire the skilled workers it needs,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce.

On The Job Training

The Alabama Legislature approved the Alabama Apprentice program in 2017.  This program offers tax credits to participating companies qualifying apprentices who receive classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

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Golden Dragon in Wilcox County offers job seekers jobs in manufacturing. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Third,  Success Plus Initiative

Success Plus is the third program that has moved the state to the top spot. This program creates a career path for young people and will add 500,000 high-skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.

“These factors plus the energy and passion Alabama workers have for their jobs were the qualities recognized in these rankings,” Canfield said. ” Qualities that set them apart from their counterparts in other states.”