Alabama has been named the state with the Best Business Climate and Nevada is the top-ranked state for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ 14th Annual Rankings Report, released this week.
Rounding out the top five in the magazine’s flagship business climate ranking are Texas, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.
Alabama has scored a bevy of big-ticket project wins in recent months—none bigger than Toyota and Mazda’s selection of Huntsville, AL as the site of a new $1.6-billion joint-venture manufacturing plant for the Japan-based auto giants. The mega-plant will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles per year when production begins in 2021, creating up to 4,000 new jobs.
“In baseball, they call it fundamentals—remembering how the game is supposed to be played,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “In Alabama, they’ve nailed the economic development fundamentals: maximizing resources with regional cooperation, a diverse growth strategy and good, old-fashioned relationship building.”
Rogers noted that Alabama’s success in securing the coveted Toyota/Mazda venture reflects more than 25 years of cultivating foreign direct investment from major overseas players, going back to Mercedes-Benz’s arrival in Tuscaloosa in 1993. Hyundai and Honda also have manufacturing facilities in the state; Toyota’s engine plant in Huntsville is undergoing its fifth expansion.
Nevada’s focus on high-technology as an engine for recovery after the Great Recession—an effort that has lured an all-star team of top tech players to NV, including Apple, Tesla, eBay, Amazon, Switch and Hyperloop One—and its application of sector acceleration plans to catalyze innovation were two factors that led to Nevada’s selection as BF’s economic growth potential leader, Rogers said.
“Perhaps no other state got clobbered worse in the Great Recession than Nevada, which makes its recovery all the more impressive,” Rogers said. “The Silver State has done nothing short of reinvent itself. Nevada’s potential seems as limitless as the desert sky.”
Louisiana continues to write its own history of success in BF’s Rankings Report. The Pelican State has notched an unprecedented ninth-consecutive first-place finish in the magazine’s Workforce Training Leaders category.
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: LED’s FastStart is the industry’s gold standard,” Rogers declared.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.