Saturday, 31 March 2012 14:28

Limestone, Morgan Rank 1-2 in State Investments

Limestone, Morgan rank 1-2 in state investments

Limestone and Morgan delivered a one-two punch in economic development in 2011.

Those counties were the highest ranking on a list released by the Alabama Department of Commerce this week.

Last year new and expanding industries announced $539 million in investments in Limestone and $416 million in Morgan.

Leading the way was Carpenter Technology Corp., which will build a $500-million steel plant across from the old Delphi facility. That project is expected to provide 203 jobs.

Polyplex will build a film plant in Decatur, investing $187 million and creating 150 jobs.

Jeremy Nails, president of the Morgan County Economic Development Association, said Morgan often ranks in the top five on the annual list. In 2010, Morgan ranked No. 2 in expansion investment and No. 3 in combined investment for new and expanding industries.

“We’re pleased that we continued our history of high rankings in the state in jobs and investments,” Nails said.

The 655 jobs planned with the Limestone investments rank the county eighth in Alabama.

Development plans in Morgan will add 381 jobs, 16th in the state.

Morgan’s steady success was noted by Site Selection magazine earlier this month when the publication ranked Decatur No. 1 among cities with populations below 200,000 for its ability to attract business.

Nails hopes that nod will help Morgan continue to rank high in economic development.

“It gives us a good marketing lead-in to reinforce the advantage of a Morgan County location,” he said.

Twenty Morgan industries announced expansions in 2011, the largest including Hexcel’s $100-million addition and 3M’s combined $50-million investment.

Other large investments in Limestone included a $14-million expansion by Custom Polymers that will add 80 jobs at its Athens plant, and a $11-million expansion by Electrifil Corp. that will boost employment at its Elkmont plant by 200.

Across Alabama, new and expanding industries announced investments of nearly $4.1 billion with plans to hire more than 17,000 people.

The capital investment in the state was an 88 percent increase over 2010.

“These new figures confirm Alabama is headed in the right direction as we continue to recover from the economic downturn,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a press release.

State capital investment leaders

Value of industrial expansion and new plants announced in 2011:

1. Limestone

$539.2 million

2. Morgan

$415.9 million

3. Mobile

$345.3 million

4. Tallapoosa

$333.6 million

5. Tuscaloosa

$324.1 million

6. Talladega

$301.6 million

7. Montgomery

$237.8 million

8. Winston

$200 million

9. Jefferson

$193.3 million

10. Cullman

$159.5 million

Additional Info

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