Governor Kay Ivey announced that Area Development, a national trade publication, has selected Alabama for a Silver Shovel Award, recognizing the state’s economic development successes in 2021.
The honor reflects strong recruiting results for the Alabama team, with the companies announcing new facilities and expansion plans involving $7.7 billion in new capital investment in 2021. This is the second highest total annual investment for the state, behind only the $8.1 billion recorded in 2018.
These 2021 projects will create more than 10,000 jobs across Alabama and inject economic vitality into many communities in both urban and rural areas.
“Successful companies around the world have discovered firsthand that they can find all the advantages they need to succeed here at Sweet Home Alabama,” said Ivey. “The Silver Shovel Award is a testament to the state’s business-friendly environment and skilled workforce that makes this success possible.”
In its new report, Area Development named JM Smucker Co.’s plan to build a manufacturing and distribution facility in Jefferson County as one of its “deals of the year.”
“The combination of peanut butter and jelly is comfort food for many people, and frozen PB&J sandwiches will comfort many lives in Alabama when a $1.1 billion Smucker’s plant opens in Jefferson County,” writes the magazine. “The deal promises some 750 jobs that will pay an average of $25 an hour, making the company’s Uncrustables frozen sandwiches.”
A groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of construction of a graphite processing facility, the first of its kind, being built by Westwater Resources/Alabama Graphite in Kellyton. The plant will produce an essential material for electric vehicle batteries and other products. (Hal Yeager / Governor’s Office)
This rendering shows Amazon’s fulfillment center in Huntsville. (Amazon)
Hanwha Cimarron, which produces carbon fiber-wrapped hydrogen storage tanks, has announced plans for a new plant in Opelika. (Hanwha Cimarron)
Alabama shared a Silver Shovel Award with Indiana and South Carolina in the category of states with populations between 5 and 8 million.
“The overarching goal of the Alabama Economic Development team is to spur the creation of good jobs and improve opportunities across the state by strategically focusing on high-impact industries with strong growth prospects. growth,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This honor is another concrete example of our team executing on its plan and delivering results that make a difference for the state.”
Area Development’s annual Gold and Silver Shovel awards are intended to recognize the overall effectiveness of economic development efforts in states across the country.
Alabama has been a frequent winner since the magazine launched the awards in 2006, when Yellowhammer State won a gold scoop. The state has also claimed a scoop of gold in 2020 for the success of economic development projects that have advanced the manufacturing sector.
Besides Smucker, other major Alabama projects listed by the magazine included Hanwha Cimarron’s plans for a manufacturing plant in Opelika, Amazon’s plans for fulfillment centers in Huntsville and Montgomery, and the Alabama Graphite LLC’s investment in a graphite processing facility in rural Coosa County.
A comprehensive overview of the state’s 2021 economic development results can be found in the Alabama Department of Commerce’s “New and Expanding Industry Report,” released this spring.
Since 2017, when Ivey took office, economic development activity in Alabama has attracted more than $32 billion in new investment through projects creating 65,000 jobs, according to Commerce Department figures.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.