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Volume 4, November 2011

Insights from the Synchronist Reporting System速


Business Broadcast    Despite challenging economic times,  the industries in Morgan County are staged for growth. The Business Broadcast data gathering process  always begins with the question “What has been your company’s greatest achievement over the past three years?   The graph below depicts the  answers to this question and highlights not only overcoming business and economic challenges, but more importantly a growth in business and  sales.      In addition to this data, you will see throughout the report a resurgence of business prosperity.   Two‐thirds of companies surveyed plan to  Despite challenging economic times, the industries in Morgan County are staged for growth. The Business Broadcast expand within the next three years and three‐fourths of companies surveyed plan to introduce new products within the next two years.  During  data gathering process always begins with the question “What has been your company’s greatest achievement over MCEDA’s 2011 fiscal year (October 1, 2010‐ September 30, 2011) new and expanding industry investment totaled over half a billion dollars and  the past three years? The graph below depicts the answers to this question and highlights not only overcoming created over 400 jobs.  business and economic challenges, but more importantly a growth in business and sales.     In addition to this data, you will see throughout the report a

business Broadcast

resurgence of business prosperity. Two-thirds of companies surveyed plan to expand within the next three years and threefourths of companies surveyed plan to introduce new products within the next two years. During MCEDA’s 2011 fiscal year (October 1, 2010- September 30, 2011) new and expanding industry investment totaled over half a billion dollars and created over 400 jobs.

Business Growth/Sales Increase Market or Facility Expansion Awards/Recognition Employment Growth Workforce Training 0

2

4

6

8

Number of Responses

10

Over 90 companies in Morgan County were contacted in 2011 to request an existing industry visit. Of those companies, 26 companies participated in the data gathering process for the 2011 Business Broadcast. The results contained in these pages present a picture of the state of our existing industries, and in   some cases, comparison data from 2009 and 2010.

Since the 2010 publication: • Areas in the community service evaluation that received below average ratings or showed decreased ratings from the previous year were targeted for consultation and improvement. Stakeholders in these areas were gathered to address concerns and pinpoint specific action items. Notably, the area of zoning changes and building permits has shown significant improvement. This is an area we have been targeting for three years. • 17 requests for assistance were made by existing industries through the interview process, all of which were acted upon by MCEDA. • MCEDA and the Chamber solidified their partnership to provide one voice in Workforce Development Services for all of Morgan County. • MCEDA hosted AIDT Leadership Training classes, all of which were filled to maximum enrollment numbers. A new half-day course on teamwork was added to the line-up of these classes that are free to Morgan County industries. • 25 companies announced expansions to their facilities. • Existing Industry expansion investment totaled $374,908,094,creating 217 jobs. Looking toward the future is the ultimate goal of this process. Based on insights gained from this year’s report MCEDA is working on: • Commending and thanking community service areas who are meeting the needs of our industrial community • Continuing dialogue and actions to improve community service areas and address legislative concerns • A Morgan County wide Workforce Development Strategic plan in conjunction with the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce • Continuing to partner with AIDT to deliver free quality Leadership Development courses and adding a Customer Service course offered in 2012 Thank you to all of the industries who opened their doors to us for this process. We hope you will find the information contained in the next few pages informative and valuable.

business broadcast

Improvements Implemented Overcoming Business Challenges

Volume 4, November 2011

Greatest Achievements

1


respondent Demographics

Morgan County has a diverse array of industrial companies. The following displays information on the types of businesses surveyed. As compared to last year, larger industries were interviewed this year. Many are publicly   traded companies. Four out of 22 interviewed have a union presence, but overall union activity has not increased in Morgan County. Respondent Demographics 

Business Sector

Morgan County has a diverse array of industrial companies.  The following displays information on the types of businesses surveyed.   As  compared to last year, larger industries were interviewed this year.   Many are publicly traded companies.   Four out of 22 interviewed have a  union presence, but union activity has not increased in Morgan County. 

Industrial Goods 54%

Number of Employees

Durable Goods Producer 13% Consumer Goods Producer 18% Years in Business

251+

Y 51-75 e a 26-50 r s 1-25

51-100 26-50 1-25 0

2

4

6

10

respondent demographics Volume 3, November 2010

  2

4

6

8

10

12

14

   

 

   

Years in Business

Building & Construction 4%

Number of Responses

   

Aeronautics and Defense 4%

0

 

8

Number of Companies

2

Advanced Manufacturing 4%

76+

101-250

 

76+

Company Ownership Public 62%

Y 51-75 e a 26-50 r s 1-25

Private/Family Owned 35% Non-Profit 3%

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

 

Number of Responses

 

 

 

Company Ownership

 


product development, Industy

 

& Market Changes

Individual employers were asked several Market Share Comparison questions in regards to their business performance and product development including market 70% share, company sales, product life cycle and 63% new products developed recently and/or new 58% products anticipated in the near future. Also 60% telling of our business climate is information on industry changes including production for 50% Product Development, Industry and Market Changes  industry segments and pending legislation that 43%42% could have an impact on business processes. Certain graphs highlight comparison between Individual employers were asked several questions in regards to their business performance and product development including market share,  40% 36% previous Business Broadcast cycle’s information. company sales, product life cycle and new products developed recently and/or new products anticipated in the near future.  Also telling of our  Improvements in company sales and market share business climate is information on industry changes including production for industry segments and pending legislation that could have an  (no companies saw a decrease in market share this 27% 30% year) from 2009 and 2010 are positive indicators impact on business processes.     of a stronger economy. The amount of maturing 20% and declining product life cycles from years past Certain graphs highlight comparison between previous Business Broadcast cycle’s information.  Improvements in company sales and market  14% also point to positive economic improvements. 10% share (no companies saw a decrease in market share this year) from 2009 and 2010 are positive indicators of a stronger economy.  The amount  0%

Company Sales Comparison 70% 52%

40%

36%

20%

2009 28% 26%

0%

 

2010

28%

4% Increasing

Stable

No 25%

2011

16%

10%

No Response

New Products Anticipated Within 2 Years

44%

30%

Decreasing

 

 

Decreasing

2011

 

7%

No Response

Yes 75%

 

Volume 4, November 2011

50%

Stable

 

58%

60%

Increasing

2010

7%

10%

of maturing and declining product life cycles from years past also point to positive economic improvements.    

2009

product development, Industry & Market Changes

 

3


expansion

& Market Information

Two-thirds of companies surveyed plan to expand within the next three years. Because existing industry growth is vital to economic success, MCEDA has increased its efforts to follow up with these companies to support their expansion plans and ensure that they are able to take advantage of all tax and business incentives available to qualifying expanding industries. Half a dozen companies during Expansion and Market Information  the interview process this year were sent information on Two‐thirds of companies surveyed plan to expand within the next three years. Because existing industry growth is vital to economic success,  tax abatements and incentives for expanding industries. MCEDA has increased its efforts to follow up with these companies to support their expansion plans and ensure that they are able to take  The exports sales graph reflects companies who export advantage of all tax and business incentives available to qualifying expanding industries.   Half a dozen companies during the interview process  finished goods directly (as opposed to through a this year were sent information on tax abatements and incentives for expanding industries.  distributor) and imports reflect only raw materials imports. The exports sales graph reflects companies who export finished goods directly (as opposed to through a distributor) and imports reflect only raw  materials imports. 

 

Expansion Plans Comparison

 

71%

67%

EXPANSION AND MARKET INFORMATION Volume 4, November 2011

4

Increasing 0% No Response 16%

 

Primary Markets

Local 4%

International 35%

47% 2009

40%

2010

33%

29%

2011

 

20% 10%

 

Stable 16%

National 26% 47%

50%

0%  

Decreasing 0%

Regional 35%

60%

30%

No Imports 86%

 

80% 70%

Imports

6%

No

Yes

No Response

 

Morgan County  recognizes the need to assist companies with expansion and trade issues in order to help our industries remain Morgan County recognizes the need to assist companies with expansion and trade issues in order  the global market place. Therefore, we provide the following services and resources pertaining to  competitive in the global market place. Therefore, we provide the Provide assistance with tax, utility, infrastructure and training incentives for expanding ind following services• and resources pertaining to these issues:

 

Export Sales

No Exports 35% Stable 35% Increasing 30%

 

 

• Provide grant exploration and support for industries considering expansion.  • Host the North Alabama International Trade Association’s (NAITA) annual Trade Tour for M Provide assistance• with tax, utility, infrastructure and training incentives for Partner with the Alabama Development Office (ADO) and NAITA, when importing and exp expanding industries. • Mallard‐Fox Creek Industrial Park is a part of General Purpose Zone #83 and is considered industries a number of shipping and customs‐related advantages.  Provide grant exploration and support for industries considering expansion.

• • Host the North  Alabama International Trade Association’s (NAITA) annual   Trade Tour for Morgan County. • Partner with the Alabama Development Office (ADO) and NAITA, when importing and exporting assistance is needed. • Mallard-Fox Creek Industrial Park is a part of General Purpose Zone #83 and is considered a U.S. Customs Port of Entry, offering resident industries a number of shipping and customs-related advantages.


workforce Evaluation

Workforce Evaluation Comparison

A skilled workforce is imperative to the success of any business community. Changes in workforce ratings have been slight over the past few years and employment needs have remained fairly stable. Yet many still cite difficulty finding technicians, skilled trades, industrial maintenance, machining and engineering talent. A study done in the later part of 2010 echoed these results citing that in the next 5-10 years, many companies are worried about being able to find this talent. Almost 1000 openings were anticipated in just these fields alone. Efforts are underway to combat this trend, particularly the Career Coaches program which seeks to educate high school and middle school students about in-demand jobs in the area.

7.00 6.00 5.00

6.09

5.61 5.03

5.33

5.53 5.47

5.23 4.56

4.83

5.91 5.33

5.74

4.00

2009 2010

3.00

2011

2.00 1.00 0.00

Because of the importance of workforce development, MCEDA continues to partner with Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Coalition and other partners to target strategic workforce development efforts. CareerPathway.info site is being promoted in the community as a resource for career and workforce development information specifically for Morgan County residents and businesses. There have been over 6200 visits to the site since its launch in December 2009. A key feature of the site includes resources for businesses about workforce development programs and incentives.

 

Availability

Quality

Stability

Productivity

Industries were asked to rate different areas of the workforce on a scale of 1 (low) to 7 (high).  

Employment Needs Comparison 80%

75% 75%

70%

The Workforce Development Resource Guide and Matrix can also be downloaded from the site, which will be updated this fall. Several new service providers will be added to the Guide and Matrix. The Guide and Matrix pinpoint where industries can go to receive workforce development help through various local providers.

66%

WORKFORCE EVALUATION

60% 50% 2009

40%

2010 2011

30%

25%

22%

19%

 

Volume 4, November 2011

20%

 

5

12% 10% 0%

  Industries were asked to rate different areas of the workforce on a scale of 1 (low) to 7 (high).  

Increasing

Stable

3%

3%

Decreasing

No Response

 


utility Evaluation

Utility services and rates are a key issue for our existing industries. TVA provides power generation for the Tennessee Valley and distributors that serve our area include Joe Wheeler Electrical Cooperative, Decatur Utilities and Hartselle Utilities. Industries were asked to rate each utility service on a scale of 1 (low) to 7 (high). The spring storms and outages as well as increased electric costs due to rising fuel costs and other considerations impacted electric ratings this year. In addition, internet connectivity issues were noted in terms of competitiveness of service offerings. MCEDA will continue to foster strong relationships with all utility providers in order to meet the needs of existing industry.

Utility Comparison 7

6.6

6.39

6

5.91

6.00

6.16

5.94

6.04

6.5 5.97 6.00

6.06

6.03

5.94 5.67

5.66

5.67

5.92

5.38

6.16 5.89 5.54

5

2009

4

2010

Volume 4, November 2011

UTILITY evaluation

2011

6

3

2

1

 

Water

Sewer

 

Natural Gas

Electric

Telecom

Cellular

Internet (Speed and Access)


community evaluation community

strengths

Morgan County’s prime location, business climate, infrastructure, and workforce and labor market attributes were key strengths noted this year. Tax rates remain low, the industrial base is strong, and the work ethic of the labor force provides competitive advantagesCommunity Evaluation  for businesses. Morgan County’s prime location, business climate, infrastructure, and workforce and labor market attributes were key strengths noted this year.  

Companies were asked to rate the quality of 23 community services from a business perspective on a scale of 1 (low) to 7 (high). Tax rates remain low, the industrial base is strong, and the work ethic of the labor force provides competitive advantages for businesses.  All community service ratings remained above the midpoint. Companies were asked to rate the quality of 23 community services from a business perspective on a scale of 1 (low) to 7 (high).  All community  service ratings remained above the midpoint.    

Community Strengths

Workforce/Labor Market Attributes 30%

Business Climate Positive 42% Location (Including Accessibility to Customers & Suppliers) 9%

 

Volume 3, November 2010

community evaluation

Transportation System/Infrastructure 18%

7


2011 Community Service Ratings 5.83

Air Cargo Service

4.73

Airline Passenger Service

5.89

Ambulance Paramedic Service

6.00

Chamber of Commerce

5.14

Child Care Services

5.60

Colleges and Universities

5.78

Community Planning

5.29

Community Services

6.17

County Services

6.21

Economic Development

6.37

Fire Protection

5.57

Healthcare Services

5.50

Highways

5.27

K-12 Schools

5.86

Police Protection

5.57

Property Tax Assessment

4.67

Public Transportation

5.83

Regulatory Enforcement

5.38

Streets and Roads

5.90

Tech/Community College

4.87

Traffic Control

5.79

Trucking

5.82

Zoning and Building Permitting 0.00

1.00

2.00

Volume 2, November 2009

community services evaluation

 

8

 

3.00

4.00

5.00

6.00

7.00

Average Rating

Community Service Ratings Air Cargo Service Airline Passenger Service Ambulance Paramedic Service Chamber of Commerce Child Care Services Colleges and Universities Community Planning Community Services County Services Economic Development Fire Protection Healthcare Services Highways K-12 Schools Police Protection Property Tax Assessment Public Transportation Regulatory Enforcement Streets and Roads Tech/Community College Traffic Control Trucking Zoning and Building Permitting

Average 2009

5.88 5.72 6.17 5.92 5.00 6.16 5.03 5.03 5.83 6.43 6.48 5.38 5.72 5.67 5.93 5.08 4.89 5.71 5.50 6.04 4.94 5.94 5.00

Average 2010

5.62 4.79 5.90 5.65 4.71 6.06 5.76 4.84 5.00 5.93 6.21 5.47 5.50 5.58 5.80 4.93 4.00 5.50 4.65 6.08 4.97 5.53 4.18

Average 2011

  5.83 4.73 5.89 6.00 5.14 5.60 5.78 5.29 6.17 6.21 6.37 5.57 5.50 5.27 5.86 5.57 4.67 5.83 5.38 5.90 4.87 5.79 5.82

The majority of community service ratings have rebounded this year. MCEDA monitors all of these ratings and responds appropriately to ensure quality services are provided to our industrial sector. Continuous improvement is the goal of this ongoing process.

The majority of community service ratings have rebounded this year.  MCEDA monitors all of these ratings and responds appropriately to ensure 


MORGAN COUNTY, ALABAMA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION

300 Market Street NE, Suite 2 Decatur, Alabama 35601 PHONE: (256) 353-1213 FAX: (256) 353-0407 EMAIL: mceda@mceda.org

www.mceda.org


2011 Business Broadcast