Southern Business and Development Magazine Names Alabama "State of the Year"

By Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Governor Bob Riley had some exciting news to announce yesterday after his "Expanding Industries in Alabama" tour. The Southern Business and Development magazine has named Alabama its "State of the Year" for the fifth time in the last six years.

The magazine covers economic development in 17 states and uses a point system to determine its award. Alabama has been the "State of the Year" in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and now 2007.

In 2007, there were more than 24,000 jobs created. Since 2003, there have been 162,000 new jobs created with more than six billion dollars in economic development dollars invested in the state.

Gov. Riley and Alabama's chief industrial recruiter, Neal Wade, celebrated the honor Wednesday by visiting companies in Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery.

One of the stops on the tour was the Hyundai plant here in Montgomery. The 1.4 billion dollar operation currently employs 3,300 people and it's now bidding on a second supplier plant that would add another 500 new jobs.

The governor said that the state owes it all to the Alabama Development Office and the local chambers of commerce around Alabama.