The Manufacturing Industry: Building Back Fast

Despite turbulence caused by labor and supply chain challenges, the manufacturing industry is experiencing a positive trajectory as it recovers from the pandemic.


There are multiple reasons Alabama is the place to go for biotech and medical manufacturing. Numerous state and local initiatives focus on fostering innovation and development, promoting a conducive business climate, intentionally enhancing diversity and funding workforce development training. In addition, Alabama and specifically, North Alabama, is steadily becoming known for its biotech innovations.

HudsonAlpha Institute
The flagship HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology facility features state-of-the-art laboratory and office space built to National Institute of Health standards for biosafety. (Photo: HudsonAlpha institute for Biotechnology)

North Alabama, long known for its highly-educated “rocket scientist” workforce, has taken many strides to earn the moniker “heart of a biotech innovation region” which stretches from Nashville to Atlanta to Birmingham. A key leader in this is HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a nonprofit research institute and life science business campus located in Huntsville, AL. HudsonAlpha’s business campus helps accelerate new therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, agricultural genomics and other innovations to the marketplace by co-locating genomic R&D, workforce training, startups, and established bioscience enterprises. Today, over 1,000 people work on the HudsonAlpha campus, which is home to more than 45 biotech companies and the Institute’s non-profit genomic research laboratories.

“The North Alabama region is primed for growth in the biotech industry. From the skilled workforce with highly transferable skills to intentional community development to economic incentives and credits, North Alabama, and specifically Huntsville, is a great place to grow a prosperous business,” said Mary Shirley-Howell, Director of Business Recruitment for HudsonAlpha.

HudsonAlpha works with businesses of all sizes from startups to leading bioscience companies by aiding the transition of discoveries made in research labs to the marketplace. The environment in Huntsville is uniquely able to aid these biotech companies by drawing in more high-tech, high-skilled jobs than ever before and bolstering its well-regarded workforce development programs to grow even stronger.

Some of the leading workforce resources available to biotech companies and manufacturers are:

  • Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), offers comprehensive pre-employment selection and training, leadership development, on-the job training, continuous/process improvement assessments, maintenance assessments, and industrial safety assessments and training—all tailored to individual company needs.
  • Alabama Technology Network (ATN) aids businesses through assessments, solution mapping, extensive workforce training, technical assistance, and engineering services.
  • AlabamaWorks is a regional coalition of employers, educators, elected officials and resources to address workforce challenges
  • Huntsville also offers a variety of tax incentives that are attractive to new and existing businesses looking to expand their operations within the area. Following are the major tax incentives available for businesses in the area:
  • Valley Investment Initiative is an incentive program jointly offered by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating distributors of TVA power that offers financial incentives to qualifying power customers who contribute to the economic development of the region
  • Small Manufacturing Credit offers significant power cost savings to qualifying manufacturers
  • Raw Materials Exemption allows raw materials used by manufacturers or compounders as ingredients or component parts to be exempt from sales and use tax
  • Port Credit is a state tax credit for new cargo to the area or 105% over existing
  • Alabama Jobs Act offers cash rebates for eligible employees who are Alabama residents for new jobs as well as a tax credit for investments in qualifying projects job creation
  • Growing Alabama Credit is tax credit that can offset up to 50% of certain tax types for funds contributed to Economic Development Organizations
  • Utility Gross Receipts Tax Exemptions allow water and sewer usage costs used in industrial manufacturing, where 50% or more is used in industrial processing, to be exempt from the utility gross receipts tax
  • Inventory Exemptions means that, unlike some other states, Alabama does not levy a property tax on inventory of goods, wares, and merchandise that are offered for sale. Materials that are to be compounded or manufactured, and are stocked at plants or furnaces for manufacturing purposes are also exempt from property tax.

“North Alabama is a place where you can have a great idea, find a top-notch workforce, connect with local successful entrepreneurs and have your biotech products produced – all at lower costs than in many other areas known for biotech,” said Shirley-Howell. “It’s exciting to see how many businesses take advantage of the available resources in the area.”

The HudsonAlpha campus is designed to be a place of scientific advancement and collaboration. As an active part of Huntsville, the biggest and fastest-growing city in the state and one of the most lauded cities in the country, HudsonAlpha strengthens and diversifies the region’s economy and workforce. For our companies’ partnerships or the shipment of their products, HudsonAlpha and Huntsville position their organizations for success.

Growing biotech businesses is part of HudsonAlpha’s mission. Learn more about how you can improve your competitive edge by locating your bioscience company on the HudsonAlpha campus or partnering with one of our associate companies or non-profit research labs.