When Mercedes-Benz announced in 1993 that it would be opening a plant in Alabama, it was a milestone. It would be Mercedes’ first passenger vehicle factory ever located outside of Germany, Alabama’s very first automobile production facility—and the beginning of a booming industry trend for our state. Thanks to an abundant skilled workforce, best-in-class cooperative training and an extremely business-friendly economic climate, Alabama has since become home to three more plants and a burgeoning automotive industry that produced $7 billion worth of vehicles and $1.2 billion in parts for export last year.
- 1 million+ vehicles produced in 2015
- $7 billion in automobiles shipped to 76 countries in 2015
- Alabama’s #1 export
- 3nd in U.S. in vehicle exports
- Home to business from 30 different countries
- 4 auto OEMs in the state
Companies in Alabama
Here are the Automotive companies who have OEMs in Alabama.
- Alabama Aircraft Support
- BAE Systems
- Bell Aerospace
- Commercial Jet
- GE Aviation
- Georgia Aerospace
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrop Grumman
- UTC Aerospace
- Vector Aerospace
Huntsville has been an aerospace hub for decades, with 44,000 currently employed in the aerospace/defense industry, housing the highest number of engineers per capita in the United States. Farther south in Montgomery, Maxwell Air Force Base and its Gunter Annex employ more than 11,500 military and civilian personnel with an estimated economic impact of more than $1.5 billion. At Ft. Rucker in southeast Alabama between Ozark and Daleville, the world’s largest helicopter training installation can be found. The Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley has developed into an aerospace cluster including VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Airbus Engineering Center and Continental Motors, Inc. (a subsidiary of AVIC International). In July 2012, the statewide aerospace industry was solidified when Airbus chose Brookley as the site to build its first aircraft assembly plant in the United States, which has firmly put Alabama on the international map for aerospace and aviation.
South Alabama Regional Airport
- 6,000 ft. runway and taxiway
- Existing taxiway is 35’wide and stressed to accommodate 60,000 lbs. dual wheel.
- 20,000 gallon Jet A fuel farm and 10,000-gallon 100LL fuel farm.
- (2) 3,000 gallon Jet A tankers.
- 10OLL Self-Service fueling system.
- Fully equipped ARFF Fire Department. Fire Department has all required equipment to meet DCMA standards for large aircraft operations.
- ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System).
- 165-acre industrial park with infrastructure in place.
- Alabama Aviation College satellite campus onsite for training of A&P mechanics.
With four locations across the state, the Alabama Aviation Center, a unit of Enterprise State Community College, has been providing the aviation industry with well-trained, certified aviation technicians for more than fifty years. The college offers FAA-approved airframe and power-plant programs, a general aviation technology curriculum for individuals with aviation experience, and an avionics technician curriculum. All aviation programs offered by the college reflect current industry standards to ensure students are prepared for careers in the high growth aviation industry. The Alabama Aviation Training Facility located at the South Alabama Regional Airport provides aviation training to high school students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Adult classes are also taught.The facility consists of approximately 9,500 square feet of instructional and administrative space, including a faculty administrative office, secure records storage space, two large classrooms, a welding lab, composites lab, sheet metal lab and a woodworking lab. All spaces are well lit and ventilated in accordance with all local and national codes. Vehicle parking is provided adjacent to the building. Aircraft taxiway and servicing opportunities are available at the airport.
Twin Hangar Complex
The facility supports aircraft maintenance, modification, repair and overhaul. The center includes two hangars with shop space and an engineering/administrative building, totaling more than 70,000 square feet.
Sometimes you have to go searching for resources, and sometimes you find the foundation for an industry is already laid beneath you. Such was the case in 1800s Alabama when we discovered that the geologically anomalous central Alabama region was teeming with iron ore, coal and limestone—the three raw materials needed to manufacture steel. And just like that, Alabama’s metal manufacturing industry was born.
Now, our state is home to over 1,100 metal manufacturers both domestic and international, employing more than 50,000 of Alabama’s skilled workers—and still growing. If you’re looking for a place for your business, you know what they say: strike while the iron is hot.
- Home to 3 of the nation’s major pipe makers
- $1.6 billion in exports in 2015
- 1,100+ metal manufacturing companies
- 50,000+ employed in the metals industry
Companies in Alabama
Here are a few of the Metal Manufacturing companies who have found a home – and found success – in Alabama.
- United States Steel
- McWane Inc.
- Lakeside Steel
The world is more connected than ever, and Alabama is advancing at the speed of light. In a business that isn’t slowing down, our state has not only kept up—we are emerging as a leader in the highly competitive market of information technology. Alabama is advancing in modeling and simulation technologies, cyber security, data centers, defense software development and emerging media. And with computer systems design and management services projected to increase employment by more than 650,000 jobs in the next five years, we don’t need to run the numbers to know that we like our odds.
- Google building $600 million data center in North Alabama
- Maxwell AFB’s Gunter Complex is home to approximately 2,500 IT professionals
- Multiple sites in the state designated by the guidelines created by Jones, Lang, LaSalle’s Michael Siteman, the number one Data Center authority in North America
- State laws provide competitive incentives for data center projects
- Equifax is establishing a Global IT Talent Center at Auburn University
- The Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security operate the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover
By land, sea or air, Alabama is a prime hub for distribution and transportation logistics both nationally and globally. When it comes to distribution, Alabama is equipped to ship your products anywhere in the world at a minimal cost and in a short time frame. As the central location in the heart of the U.S.’s fastest growing economy (and only a day’s drive from half of the U.S. population), we employ intermodal systems – including six interstate highways, five Class I railways, and the heavily trafficked Port of Mobile – to maximize the efficiency of your business. Throw in the fact that Alabama has no inventory tax and we’re sure that your expectations for product distribution will be exceeded.
- 6 Interstates totaling 1,060 miles
- Half of U.S. population within one day’s driving distance
- 2,000+ miles of Class I railroad track
- 19 U.S. Highways totaling 3,852.85 miles
- 9th largest seaport in U.S. (Port of Mobile)
- 100+ overseas shipping lines served
Agricultural Products & Food Production
Agricultural Products & Food Production
Alabama’s agricultural roots run deep. Even as one of the state’s oldest industries, our agricultural and food production businesses have evolved over the years to maintain a relevant presence in both the national and global market.
- $13 billion in annual sales from food processing
- $5 billion in agricultural products annually
- #2 in U.S. freshwater fish production
- #3 in U.S. poultry production
- #3 in U.S. peanut production
- 48,500 farms
- 9 million acres of farmland
- 94,000 direct employees in agriculture and food processing
Companies in Alabama
Here are a few of the Food Production companies who have found a home—and found success—in Alabama.
- Wayne Farms
- R.L. Zeigler
- Sunshine Mills
- Priester’s Pecan Co.
- Mrs. Stratton’s Salads
- Lancaster Colony
- Red Diamond Tea & Coffee
- Bud’s Best Cookies
- Koch Foods
- Barber Dairies
- Buffalo Rock
- Golden Flake Snack Foods
Food Production Links
There are so many factors that make Alabama such a great place for Food Production companies. Chief among them are these invaluable partners:
- Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries
- Alabama Agribusiness Council
- Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
- Alabama Cattlemen’s Association
- Alabama Farmers Cooperative
- Auburn University College of Agriculture
- Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service
- Alabama Poultry & Egg Association
- Alabama Peanut Producers Association
Food Production Resources
- Alabama Department of Labor Employment Overview (4k)
- Alabama Agriculture Directory (4k)
- EDPA Industry Profile (4k)
- Economic Impacts of Alabama’s Agricultural, Forestry, and Related Industries (4k)
- Agriculture Facts Brochure (4k)
- DTN Commodity Market
- Alabama Cooperative Economic Impact Report
Click here to visit the City of Opp's Agriculture Site
While it may seem to have little room for growth, Alabama’s forest products industry is expanding its base. Alabama has the second largest timberland base in the U.S., and companies like Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser continue to make investments in the state.
- 2nd largest timberland base in the U.S.
- 23 million acres of timberland in Alabama
- $1.3 billion in forest product exports in 2019
- 36,000 employed in forest product sector
- 2nd largest producer of pulp and paper in the U.S.
- No. 7 in lumber production
- No. 8 in wood panel production
Companies in Alabama
Here are a few of the Forest Product companies who have found a home—and success—in Alabama.
- Georgia Pacific
- International Paper
- Brown-Forman Cooperage
- Zilkha Biomass Energy
- Alabama Pellets (Pinnacle Renewable Energy)
- Great Southern Wood
Forestry Products Links
- Alabama Forestry Association
- Alabama International Trade Center
- AIDT Forest Products Development Center
- Auburn University Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts
- Alabama Department of Labor Employment Overview
- EDPA Forest Industry Profile
- Alabama Forestry Commission
- Alabama State Port Authority
- Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering
- Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Science
- Alabama Forest Resource Report