BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The seven-county Birmingham region gained more than 3,000 jobs and $370 million in capital investment in 2014 thanks to companies locating new facilities or expanding existing operations in the area, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance.
The BBA made the announcement this morning at its annual Regional Growth Summit, held at The Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham.
“There’s no question, Birmingham and our entire region are seeing real growth,” said Mark Crosswhite, 2015 BBA chairman and chairman, president and CEO of Alabama Power. “And we must focus on continuing that growth – developing, building and attracting businesses that create jobs and better our communities.”
Last year, 79 companies announced 3,011 jobs and $370.1 million in new investment in the Birmingham region, chiefly in its primary business sectors, including banking and insurance, advanced manufacturing, metals, transportation, health care and biosciences. In 2013, the BBA said 2,611 jobs were announced, along with nearly $320 million in investment.
Significant projects included Evonik’s establishment of a global innovation center for medical devices and technology at the company’s Birmingham facility, and plans by Ohio-based Steris Corp. to relocate its global specialty services business to the city. In addition, U.K.-based Oxford Pharmaceuticals announced plans to build a manufacturing center in Birmingham that will employ as many as 200 people.
“Birmingham’s economy remains strong and continues to grow,” said Herschell Hamilton, managing partner at BLOC Global Group and vice chairman for economic development for the BBA’s board of directors. “Robust growth from our existing businesses, solid revitalization in downtown and building on our region’s strengths has helped our community gain lasting momentum.”
At today’s event, the BBA released its 2015 Regional Economic Growth Report, which highlights a range of achievements in the community in addition to the project announcements. One example: the opening of AIDT’s Alabama Workforce Training Center, which supports the construction and manufacturing industries with specialized training through partnerships with industry.
AIDT, the state’s workforce development agency, is an arm of the Alabama Department of Commerce.