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2. South Carolina
5. North Carolina
4. South Carolina
7. North Carolina
3. South Carolina
8. North Carolina
Eric Stavriotis, Senior Vice President, Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle
Scott Redabaugh, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle
Dan Levine, Pricipal, MetroCompare LLC
Kathy Mussio, Managing Partner, Atlas Insight
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."