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Alabama: Ranked First for its Competitive Labor Costs and Fourth Overall

For the third consecutive year, Alabama was among the top five states for doing business. Alabama was also first for competitive labor costs and near the top of the list for its work force development programs.

Area Development Magazine Special Presentation (Fall 2012)
Top States for Doing Business Full Results: 2012 Top States for
Doing Business Survey
»

OVERALL RANKINGS
2012

1.  Texas
2.  South Carolina
3.  Georgia
4.  Alabama
5.  North Carolina
6.  Louisiana
7.  Tennessee
8.  Indiana
9.  Mississippi
10.  Oklahoma

2011

1.  Texas
2.  Georgia
3.  Alabama
4.  South Carolina
5.  Indiana
6.  Louisiana
7.  North Carolina
8.  Tennessee
9.  Mississippi
10.  California

2010

1.  Tennessee
2.  Texas
3.  South Carolina
4.  Alabama
5.  Georgia
6.  Indiana
7.  Mississippi
8.  North Carolina
9.  Virginia
10.  Oklahoma

CONSULTANTS COMMENTARY
Winning States Offer Low Taxes, Generous Incentives, and Fewer Regulations
Eric Stavriotis, Senior Vice President, Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle
States With Deep Pools of Skilled Workers Come Out on Top
Scott Redabaugh, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle
Alabama's overall business environment, including its cost of doing business, corporate tax environment, incentives programs, and cooperative state government were also cited among the top five by the responding consultants; and its certified sites and competitive utility rates placed in the top five among the states as well.

Alabama's top overall labor ranking is a direct result of its innovative Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) program, which provides a comprehensive work force management system for employers at no cost. Services include recruiting, screening, and training potential employees; developing training materials; and delivering customized training programs. AIDT is also ISO 9001:2008-certified by the International Organization for Standardization.

"AIDT is one of the nation's best work force development programs," indicates Steve Sewell, executive vice president for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. "AIDT has provided training for tens of thousands of workers for companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Lockheed Martin, and Austal shipbuilding."

"Alabama's competitiveness in recruiting is due in great part to the tremendous success that leading companies achieve once they locate here," comments Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. "The state and the communities work hard to attract new investment, but everyone works even harder to support the companies once they locate."

"Alabama consistently ranks as a great place to do business because we have forged unique partnerships that give the state advantages," says Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. "Not only are we competing, but in many cases, we are winning major projects with worldwide name recognition. The state is poised to be third-largest automotive producer in the nation and will soon be part of a major aerospace corridor."

For example, this summer, Airbus announced it would locate a $600 million, 1,000-job assembly operation in Mobile to build the A320 commercial aircraft. This new facility will place Airbus in the middle of the Gulf Coast aerospace cluster.

As for automotive, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Hyundai all have assembly plants in Alabama and announced expansions in 2011. Alabama ranked fourth in the U.S. for vehicle exports in 2011. Alabama's deep experience in automotive manufacturing is one reason Japanese auto parts supplier TASUS Corporation announced in September it would build a $19.1 million, 104,000-square-foot plant at the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park.

Alabama is building on its foundation of success with Accelerate Alabama, a strategic plan that will recruit new companies for target industries. "A key to the success of this plan is the participation of K-12, two-year colleges, and universities," says Taylor. "To spur innovation, sustain our existing industries, and create jobs of the future, it is critical to be aligned with educators at all levels."
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