Greg Canfield

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Alabama’s economic development team continues to work with prospects and bring new capital investment and jobs to areas across the state. In the past month or so, nearly 1,200 new jobs have been announced.

The gains have taken place in Alabama’s rural areas. In Atmore, a partnership that includes Alabama farmers has launched plans to build an $87 million peanut shelling and storage facility that will provide a real economic boost to Escambia County and the region. The Coastal Growers facility will bring more than 100 jobs to the area.

Meanwhile, key Alabama industries continue to show vitality. International Automotive Components, a global auto supplier, just announced plans for expansions at its manufacturing plants in Anniston and Cottondale. Together, the IAC projects will create 182 jobs.

At Alabama’s Mercedes-Benz plant, workers have begun assembling the Maybach SUV, expanding the automaker’s Vance production lineup to include the ultra-luxury vehicle.

Other milestones are also being registered. Boeing’s Huntsville operation received a $249 million contract modification to support a key missile defense system. In Mobile, Airbus celebrated five years of aircraft production in Mobile.

All of this robust activity demonstrates that Alabama is firmly on the road to recovery.

Greg Canfield is secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

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