Ivey: Alabama claims Silver Shovel Award for 2022 economic development successes
Governor Kay Ivey announced Wednesday in a press release that Area Development, a national business publication, has selected Alabama for its Silver Shovel Award. The award recognizes the state’s economic development successes during 2022.
Ivey said in a press release the honor reflects record results for Alabama’s economic development team, with companies announcing new facilities and expansion projects involving $10.1 billion in capital investment last year.
The inbound investment figure represents the highest annual total for the state, surpassing the previous record of $8.1 billion set in 2018.
The governor's office reports these 2022 projects will create more than 13,000 jobs across Alabama and stimulate economic growth in both urban and rural areas of the state.
“The Silver Shovel Award is yet another testament to Alabama’s strong pro-business environment and to the talented workers that help these world-class companies grow and thrive,” Ivey said in a statement. “This honor demonstrates that our efforts to create good jobs and spark economic growth are producing bountiful results in Sweet Home Alabama."
Area Development magazine’s annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes, and promotions that attract new employers and investments in new and expanded facilities.
The awards are presented annually to states that have achieved success in terms of job creation and economic impact.
Based on the number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity of the submitted projects, Alabama qualified for a Silver Shovel award in the 4- to 6-million population category. Other winners in the category were South Carolina and Wisconsin.
Additionally, Area Development recognized the Novelis project in Bay Minette that is expected to create 1,000 jobs through a $2.5 billion investment as a “Manufacturing Project of the Year” for 2022.
In a year that was marked nationally with large-scale projects related to electric vehicles, Area Development singled out two projects in Alabama: Hyundai’s $300 million investment to launch EV production at its Montgomery plant and Hyundai Mobis’ $205 million battery module plant nearby.
Area Development also highlighted growth plans in Alabama by Airbus, First Solar, United Launch Alliance, Manna Beverages & Ventures, and Diego.
Greg Canfield is the secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. He said last year was quite the success story.
“Last year was a remarkable one for Alabama’s economic development team," he said. "Not only did these professionals secure high-impact growth projects for the state during 2022, but they also managed to set records while doing it. Their efforts are creating exciting new career opportunities for Alabama citizens and enhanced growth possibilities for communities across the state. We’re not slowing down.”
The magazine has previously honored Alabama with Shovel Awards. It received Gold Shovel Awards in 2006, 2013, 2019 and 2021, and Silver Shovel Awards for 2007–2012, 2014–2018, and 2022.
Last September, Area Development reported that Alabama ranked No. 6 in its annual “Best States for Doing Business” survey, containing a sustained run for the state in that list’s Top 10.
A comprehensive look at the state’s economic development results for last year can be found in the Alabama Department of Commerce’s “2022 Alabama Economic Development Impact Report,” released this spring.
The Alabama Department of Commerce reports that since Ivey took office in 2017, economic development activity in Alabama has attracted over $41 billion in new investment through projects creating nearly 80,000 jobs.