Alabama Enjoying Surge in Manufacturing

Alabama, a state known historically for its agricultural and textile industries, has seen an unexpected boom since the recession in the manufacturing sector. The state has introduced a wide range of incentives and tax breaks to encourage companies to open plants there. In a press conference on Tuesday, Alabama secretary of commerce Greg Canfield called 2011 the best year for the state’s manufacturing sector since 2007.

The upward trend for Alabama’s manufacturing hub doesn’t appear to be ready to slow down anytime soon, either, as Germany’ ThyssenKrupp and China’s Dragon Precise Copper are both scheduled to open massive new plants in the state this year. In addition, Boeing, Honda, Hyundai and truck maker Navistar have all announced plans to expand their operations in the state.

In all of 2011, a total of 70 US manufacturing businesses indicated plans to open factories or expand existing plants in Alabama. According to a recent estimates, the increased manufacturing activity will create more than 17,000 jobs across the state and generate more than $4 billion in capital investment. Canfield noted in his comments that Alabama’s workforce now consists of 12 percent of its total jobs in the manufacturing sector, more than double the 5 percent of Alabama jobs accounted for by the sector in 2008.