A HEMISPHERES SUPPLEMENT
Make history here. Hyundai did.
Montgomery, Alabama is known as the birthplace of transformative change. Today Montgomery is THE FACTS
,The Harbour Report named Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) most efﬁcient/ highest productivity Automotive OEM in North America.
,Hyundai Motor Manufacturing
Alabama’s engine shop was named the Top Engine Plant in North America in 2014 for the ﬁfth consecutive year and for six consecutive years the stamping shop was named the Top Stamping Plant in North America by The Harbour Report.
,JD Power ranked the Montgomery
made Sonata the Most Dependable Midsize Car and the Montgomery made Elantra the Highest Initial Quality in its class.
changing the way the south does business. We’re home to a workforce that delivers excellence for Hyundai and thriving businesses of every size. But our workers are building more than quality and dependability. We’re building a national reputation for productivity and providing businesses the support they need to succeed and grow. We invite you to do business in Montgomery, Alabama and make a little history of your own.
M O N T G O M E RY, A L A B A M A , U S A
FOR OPPORTUNITIES IN MONTGOMERY VISIT choosemontgomery.com
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SNAPSHOT: ALABAMA With a diverse economic base, a series of high-proﬁle FDI projects and a hard-working, well-trained workforce, Alabama is primed for business growth
4.2% CONSTRUCTION 13.0%
MINING AND LOGGING
19.2% TRADE,TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES
4.9% FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES 11.7%
EDITOR: DANIEL WELLBELOVE. DESIGN: STEWART HENSON. COVER ILLUSTRATION: BRATISLAV MILENKOVIC
PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES
FAST FACTS Alabama was ranked fourth in Area Development’s “Top States for Doing Business” survey of site consultants in 2014, in which it was identiﬁed as the number-one state for competitive labor costs.
In 2014, Alabama witnessed 392 projects in which companies announced new facilities or the expansion of existing operations. In total, these will create 18,137 jobs and $3.37 billion of capital investment.
Some 83,000 Alabamians are employed in the state’s aerospace industry, while the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and now Airbus have all expanded or located facilities here in recent years.
It has been scarcely two decades since Alabama’s car industry was jump-started, yet the state has already been ranked ﬁrst in the U.S. for “automotive manufacturing strength,” by Business Facilities.
11.7% EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES
9.8% LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you iron ore, coal and limestone, make steel. Alabama’s 1,100-plus metal manufacturers employ more than 50,000 people across the state.
4.2% OTHER SERVICES FACTFILE
Population: 4.85 million (2014) Capital: Montgomery GDP: $193.6 billion (2013) Land area: 52,419 square miles
H A L F O F T H E U . S . P O P U L AT I O N C A N B E R E A C H E D W I T H I N O N E D AY ’ S D R I V E O F A L A B A M A . IN 2014, CNBC FOUND ALABAMA TO HAVE THE TIED FOURTH-LOWEST COST OF DOING BUSINESS AMONG U.S. STATES. HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
I F YO U ' R E L O O K I N G F O R T H E
AAA FOUR DIAMOND RESORTS, CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF AND AWARD-WINNING SPAS. ALL WITH A SINGLE PHONE CALL. As it turns out, world-class happens to be right in your back yard. Choose the acclaimed courses, resorts and spas of Alabama’s spectacular Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and you’ll ﬁnd the getaway you’re hoping for. Best of all, you’ll get it at a price that will feel just about perfect.
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YO U J U S T F O U N D I T.
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While Auburn works to expand the knowledge base, our discoveries fuel the world marketplace. Our process begins with joining a superlative faculty with a student body that includes aspiring minds from more than 80 countries who are choosing one of 140+ degree options in 12 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.
“As a graduate student in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Auburn helped me discover my passion for learning and finding new knowledge.”
Our patented Vapor Wake detection technology is the most effective and efficient detector dog capability available in the marketplace. Our specially trained dogs are uniquely suited for military, government, and private sector applications aimed at increasing security around the world.
GE Aviation has brought high-volume, metals-based additive manufacturing (3-D printing) to its Auburn facility and is working with the university to develop programs for workforce training, industrialized processes, and technology required for this radical new era in production. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses computer chips smaller than grains of sand to aid in the wireless tracking of items. At our RFID laboratory, experts develop new inventory control applications, work with retailers to test and follow products, and provide students with the workforce experience necessary to succeed in industry.
AUBURN GLOBAL Auburn Global offers accelerator programs to prepare international undergraduate and graduate students for success at Auburn and beyond. We provide tailored career support, internship placement, and programs that combine courses from the student’s major with additional academic services, English language training, and cultural experiences. Find out more at auburnglobal.org.
The faculty, students, and partners of Auburn University convene as thinkers and decision makers to solve problems. And we’re producing the tailored workforce that will build, run, and work in the world’s innovation economy. As a result, we provide a global gateway to discovering new knowledge, advancing scholarship, and propelling economic development.
THIS IS AUBURN. auburn.edu
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THE INFLUENCERS A look at economic development through the eyes of Alabama’s foremost public ﬁgures Governor Robert Bentley
Dr. David Bronner
A former dermatologist and member of the Alabama House of Representatives, Robert Bentley was elected as Alabama’s 53rd governor in 2010 with the promise that he would not accept a salary until the state reached full employment. He was reelected in 2014 with the highest percentage of the vote of any Republican governor in modern Alabama history.
When Dr. Bronner was appointed head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama in 1973, the pension fund had approximately $500 million to its name. Since then, he has overseen the fund’s eﬀorts to diversify its assets and assist the state in its economic development endeavors—his philosophy being the stronger the RSA can make Alabama, the stronger the RSA will be. Initiatives include the construction of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, whose 11 sites have helped tourism in Alabama blossom into a $12-billion industry, and the acquisition of one of the largest local television stations in America, Raycom Media, which the RSA has used to promote Alabama across the country. By the end of the 2014 ﬁscal year, the RSA’s scope had increased to 23 funds, worth a total of $37.7 billion.
Bentley… on employment Job creation has been our number-one issue, because we believe that if you educate the people of your state and give them the opportunity to get a job then things usually work out well for them and their families, and for the state.
ILLUSTRATION : JIM SPENCER
Bentley… on economic development The economy was not good when we came in, not only for Alabama but the entire United States. So we put in place an organizational structure that meant we could not only recruit new industries into Alabama, but try to retain the companies we have. We also began to encourage small businesses, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the creation of new jobs from knowledge and ideas.
“WE HAVE THE BEST OF ANY STATE IN THE COUNTRY AS FAR AS TRAINING WORKERS IS CONCERNED” Governor Bentley
Bronner… on economic development We had taken the system up well, but when the October crash of 1987 came along, you saw a lot of your proﬁts go out the door, as all crashes do to everybody. At that time I decided that I didn’t think Alabama would change for the beer unless we did something.
D U R I N G G O V E R N O R B E N T L E Y ’ S F I R S T T E R M , H I S A D M I N I S T R AT I O N A N N O U N C E D T H E C R E AT I O N O F 6 3 , 0 0 0 N E W J O B S I N A L A B A M A . B E N T L E Y R E D U C E D T H E S I Z E O F S TAT E G O V E R N M E N T B Y 12 % O V E R H I S F I R S T T E R M , S AV I N G TA X PAY E R S $ 1. 2 B N A N N U A L LY. HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
Bentley… on workforce development
Bronner… on automanufacturing
We put a lot of emphasis on skilled workforce training over the last two or three years. We created a new workforce council in which we ask business and industry to tell the education organizations what their needs are, so we can train students properly and have the adequate number of skilled workers that we need. I personally think we have the best of any state in the country as far as training workers is concerned. We’ve had a good system for a long time, but it’s a lot beer now than it was four or ﬁve years ago.
Our ﬁrst major investment of $100m was to pay for the incentives to get Mercedes into the state. This was the bellwether, 20 years ago, for opening the car industry to the state, which had basically zero car opportunities at the time. What it did was take people in the state who would never have made more than, say, $25,000 in their life, and gave them the opportunity to double their salary overnight by working for one of these manufacturers.
Bronner… on the golf trail Bentley… on education We have to have a strong foundation, so we have put a special emphasis on pre-K education for four-yearolds. We have the best pre-K program of any state in the country. We also put a special emphasis on skilled-workforce training for our high school students and we’re working with our community colleges and higher education institutions to do the same thing. One of the things I’m proudest of is that our graduation rate from high school is the highest it’s been for years. We want to reach 90 percent by 2020. We’re already at 86 percent, so that’s good.
Bentley… on goals for the future I would like to see the results of what we’ve put in place. I would like to see our unemployment rate be lower than it is and I would like to keep it below the national average. I would like for anybody in Alabama who wants a job to be able to ﬁnd one, and hopefully it will be a good-paying job. We want to continue our education program, especially our pre-K program, and then when I leave Alabama, we will leave Alabama a beer place than when I got here.
Bentley… on the best thing about Alabama It’s the people. It’s dealing with some of the ﬁnest people in the world. The people of our state care about each other, and even if we didn’t have any government, they’d still take care of each other.
“I DIDN’T THINK ALABAMA WOULD CHANGE FOR THE BETTER UNLESS WE DID SOMETHING”
If you look at the United States back then, lots of people went to Florida. To get to Florida from about half the country, you come down via either Georgia or Alabama. My theory was if I could stop them going to Florida, maybe I could increase tourism. Or if I could get them coming back up from Florida, I could increase tourism.
Bronner... on aracting business David Bronner
We had an Asian company that ﬁxes 747s come to Alabama. I told people that there are a lot of places to choose between Asia and Mobile, Alabama. They came here because they were a supporter of doing things that improve the quality of life. Now we have golf and quality hotels with spas. We weren’t even listed in any category in the United States on spas 15 years ago and now we’re in the top two or three all the time.
Bronner... on Alabamians The people are particularly unique, meaning that they’re extremely straight, hard-working people that haven’t had a lot of opportunities in past decades. They’re now seeing the opportunities to improve the quality of life for themselves and their family, and it’s really exciting to see families change, not over a 50 or 60-year period, but in a maer of a few years. You have this sense of excitement because you know things are happening.
T H E R TJ ’ S G R A N D N AT I O N A L C O U R S E I N O P E L I K A W I L L H O S T A L A B A M A’ S F I R S T P G A T O U R E V E N T S I N C E 19 9 0 , F R O M 13 -19 J U LY, 2 0 15 . D E V E L O P E R S H AV E B U I LT 8 , 3 0 6 H O U S I N G U N I T S , W I T H A VA L U E O F $ 2 .7 B N , A R O U N D R TJ S I T E S . 8 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
science for life
Accelerate the promise of genomics... HudsonAlpha is a bioscience destination strategically formed to co-locate scientists and educators with businesses to accelerate new therapeutics, medical devices, health-related products and other innovations to market.
HudsonAlpha delivers high-quality sequencing results to diagnose disease with pinpoint accuracy, improve crop yields and advance biofuel efficiencies.
Join us in moving g genomic breakthroughs into iimprovements for a healthier and more m sustainable world.
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SPOTLIGHT: REGIONS We speak to chairman, president and CEO Grayson Hall about how the Fortune 500-ranked company is adapting to how customers want to bank Dossier: What diﬀerentiates Regions from its peers? Hall: Our vision is for Regions Bank to be one of the premier regional banks in the country by providing exceptional service and helping our customers and our communities succeed ﬁnancially. We do that with four pillars: The markets that we operate in, the people who are in our team, the culture that we continue to build, and our relentless focus on customers.
D: Which markets are these? H: Regions is fortunate in that we operate in some of the most aractive markets in the country. Importantly, our market presence cannot be easily or quickly replicated. We operate in 16 states, spanning from Texas to Indiana to Florida, and we serve approximately 4 million households. It’s a great set of communities and markets to do business in, and it’s markets that present a compelling growth opportunity for our company.
D: How is banking changing? H: There’s no doubt that customers today are choosing to bank with us in many diﬀerent ways, and because of that we are investing in all channels that customers choose. We’re investing in branches, but we’re also investing in automated teller machines, we’re investing in telephone-contact centers, we’re investing in internet-based web services, and we’re investing in mobile banking. It’s important for the customer to choose how they wish to transact their banking business with us. The year-over-year increases we’ve seen in mobile and web are really
FACTFILE Industry: Financial services Headquarters: Birmingham Employees: 23,723 Net income: $1.1bn Branches: 1,666 NYSE: RF (All 2014) Top: Grayson Hall examines the technology that will keep the bank’s number-one deposit share in Alabama. Right: A modern flagship branch
encouraging, but for all of that, of our 4 million customers, 65 percent will come into one of our branches this month, and more than 80 percent of our new account sales will be in our branches.
D: So what are you doing to make branch banking as eﬃcient as possible? H: Branches have historically been very focused on processing monetary transactions—taking deposits, cash and checks. Today, branches have to be more sales and service-oriented, and provide advice, guidance and education regarding ﬁnancial decisions. But we also realized that the physical
format of a branch is changing. The new branches that we’re constructing have more embedded technology in them. We’ve been testing a number of unique banking models. We’ve enhanced a number of our video teller capabilities, we’ve rolled out a much smaller format branch with reduced staﬃng, and we’ve even tried an experiment with some unmanned drive-through concepts.
D: What makes Alabama a good place to be located? H: We have been headquartered in Birmingham for over 100 years, and it’s a great place to work, it’s a great place to live, and it’s a great place to raise a family.
A 2 0 12 S T U D Y F O U N D T H AT R E G I O N S C O N T R I B U T E D $ 3 . 3 B N A N D N E A R LY 2 2 , 0 0 0 D I R E C T A N D I N D I R E C T J O B S T O T H E A L A B A M A E C O N O M Y. F R O M 2 0 13 T H R O U G H 2 0 15 , R E G I O N S H A S C O M M I T T E D $ 4 . 3 B N T O I T S A L A B A M A E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T L O A N P O O L . HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
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THE INNOVATORS Drawing back the curtain on some of Alabama’s premier research institutions
ILLUSTRATION : JIM SPENCER
MARK CROSSWHITE, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO
JAY GOGUE, PRESIDENT
RICHARD MYERS, PRESIDENT AND SCIENCE DIRECTOR
“The state of Alabama has a large coal reserve, and coal is abundant in the United States and across the world, so we think it needs to stay a part of the discussion as we’re talking about electric production,” says Alabama Power president, chairman and CEO, Mark Crosswhite. “We recognize there are concerns about the emissions that come from coal so we’re involved in a variety of activities to reduce those.” One such eﬀort, together with parent Southern Company, is the adoption of carbon capture and sequestration technology, in which waste carbon dioxide is transported oﬀsite and pumped underground. The federal government even located its National Carbon Capture Center adjacent to the company’s Plant Gaston. Moving from research to application, Plant Barry, near Mobile, is home to the largest carbon capture demonstration on a pulverized-coal plant in the U.S.
One of a select group of land, sea and space-grant universities in the country, much of Auburn’s research is still tied to its historic mission, according to president Jay Gogue: “We’re still very loyal to our land-grant heritage, which is about being very powerful in agriculture and then having the capacity to move into the science, engineering and technology areas.” The university has longmaintained a deep expertise in aerospace education. It oﬀers the oldest continuously operated aviation program in the nation and, in April 2015, was the ﬁrst to receive FAA approval for an unmanned aerospace systems ﬂight school. “We challenged them: Was there a way that we could deliver a football to the referees at the beginning of the game using a drone?” says Gogue. “Our people said no, you have to have to have FAA approval, so we said, ‘Why don’t we see if we can get the FAA to approve us as a training site?’”
Since the Human Genome Project was started in 1990, the cost of mapping a person’s entire genetic make-up has gone down 2-million-fold, opening up huge possibilities for earlier and beer diagnoses, more customized treatments for diseases, and even the potential to improve food and energy sources when the same approach is applied to agriculture. The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology was established, in 2008, to take this promise and translate it into practice. Its true diﬀerentiator is its unique Huntsville campus, which brings together world-leading scientists with entrepreneurs and inventors in one single location. According to Richard Myers, president and science director, “You have colleagues that are from a slightly diﬀerent culture and, because we’re rubbing elbows with each other, each group thinks about what the other does in a way that they wouldn’t before.”
“EACH GROUP THINKS ABOUT WHAT THE OTHER DOES IN A WAY THAT THEY WOULDN’T BEFORE” Richard Myers
SIX ASTRONAUTS HAVE GR ADUATED FROM AUBURN UNIVERSIT Y, AS WELL AS THREE DIRECTORS OF THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER. FOR 25 YE ARS, AL ABAMA POWER HAS ASSISTED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELECTRIC TR ANSPORTATION AND ADVANCED BAT TERY TECHNOLOGY. HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
USA MITCHELL CANCER INSTITUTE
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
ARTHUR TIPTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO
TONY WALDROP, USA PRESIDENT
JUDY BONNER, PRESIDENT
With interests in advanced engineering, environmental protection and drug discovery— its scientists are credited with seven FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs—Southern Research has been instrumental in puing Alabama’s biosciences industry on the map, since it was founded in 1941. In 2008, it launched the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in order to ﬁll what it saw as a critical gap in the development process. “Pharmaceutical companies are spectacularly good at regulatory interactions with the FDA and foreign equivalents of the FDA, and geing products manufactured and sold,” says Southern Research president and CEO, Arthur Tipton. “But some of the research still exists at academic organizations and organizations like ourselves that can be a bit more nimble and populate ourselves with a lot of early-stage researchers—and the role that we play there too is in knowing how things are going to get commercialized.”
The University of South Alabama was only founded in 1963, yet it has already established an impressive research pedigree— notably in healthcare, where the Mitchell Cancer Institute represents the single-most signiﬁcant research endeavor in the university’s history. USAMCI is unique in the Gulf Coast region in its marriage of academic-based cancer research with state-of-the-art clinical care. This collaborative approach helps provide the best possible treatment for more than 6,500 people each year, while also developing biomarkers for the early detection of cancers, such as pancreatic and breast cancer. “Some of the research going on has led to the creation of new companies that involve such things as DNA repair,” says USA president Tony Waldrop. “That type of cuing-edge work is certainly not only going to impact locally, but throughout the nation, if not the world. We’re also very proud that we can provide treatment for cancer patients, not just here in Mobile, but through the entire upper Gulf Coast.”
In Tuscaloosa, UA is fulﬁlling its mission as a public university by applying its technology and skills to more than just student learning and academic research. According to president Judy Bonner, “One of our highest priorities is to share the expertise and resources of the University of Alabama with the state’s business and government leaders as Alabama seeks to expand economic development opportunities through educational excellence and workforce development.” This begins with increasing the numbers of college graduates available to work in Alabama, continues with the creation of knowledge leading to economic impact—over the last ﬁve years, 58 patents have been issued to UA faculty, a number expected to increase over the next decade— and also includes numerous centers designed to assist business operations. These include the William R. Benne Alabama International Trade Center, which, in the last three years, has helped small ﬁrms across the state with $53 million in new export sales and $21 million in export ﬁnancing.
“THAT TYPE OF CUTTING-EDGE WORK IS NOT ONLY GOING TO IMPACT LOCALLY, BUT THROUGHOUT THE NATION, IF NOT THE WORLD” Tony Waldrop
SOUTHERN RESE ARCH OPER ATES THE FIRST SOL AR RESE ARCH FACILIT Y IN THE STATE OF AL ABAMA. WITH 5,105 STUDENTS, UA HAS THE L ARGEST UNDERGR ADUATE ENGINEERING PROGR AM IN THE STATE. 14 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
WHEN SHE INTERVIEWED A REGIONS BUSINESS BANKER, she gave us the third degree about our favorite way to improve her cash ﬂow. You should too. We never shy away from a difficult situation, or a serious challenge. In fact, we hope you pull out all the stops and ask us about what really matters.
1 What process do you use to understand how money flows through my business?
2 Will you be able to offer solutions that maximize my cash flow?
3 Do you have good ideas about how I can expedite collections?
4 How can you help me find that 25th hour in a day? When every decision feels make or break, you’ll be glad you’re working with a banker who has your back. So interview a Regions Business Banker today to learn how we can help your business move forward, now and down the road.
For an interview with a Regions Business Banker, call 1.800.833.9776 or visit us online at regions.com/interview.
© 2015 Regions Bank. All loans and lines subject to credit approval. | Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.
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GOING GLOBAL Forget Sweet Home Alabama—these companies are having an impact far beyond the Yellowhammer State
When Mercedes-Benz announced it was opening a production facility in Alabama, in 1993, it wasn’t just bringing jobs and capital—it was awakening a global consciousness of what this southern state has to oﬀer. “If we looked at the Alabama of 50 to 75 years ago, we would see an economy that is much diﬀerent to that which we see today,” says secretary of commerce Greg Canﬁeld. “The decision to have an
international marquee name that has the brand quality and name recognition of Mercedes-Benz locate in the state of Alabama created an awareness, both internally and to the foreign community, that Alabama was a place where a company could come to and achieve the type of success that might be more challenging elsewhere.” Signiﬁcant foreign investment has since ﬂowed into the state, creating,
among other industries, a thriving advanced manufacturing sector. Some 425 international companies now boast locations here, representing 30 countries. Against this backdrop, however, it’s important not to underestimate the impact of Alabamian companies and institutions in promoting the state name nationally and globally—and in some cases extraplanetary. Home to Redstone
AT MORE THAN $ 98M, UAH HAS THE LARGEST RESEARCH E XPENDITURES IN THE NATION WHEN COMPARED TO PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES OF ITS SIZE. FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, THE SEC HAS RECORDED THE LARGEST TOTAL FOOTBALL AT TENDANCE OF ANY CONFERENCE, WITH 7.5M FANS HOSTED IN 2013. 16 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
WORDS: DANIEL WELLBELOVE
Arsenal and the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville emerged as a key site in the U.S. eﬀorts to put a man on the moon, led by Wernher von Braun. In 1961, he successfully lobbied for the establishment of a research facility in the city, which served as a predecessor to the science and engineering eﬀorts at what is now the University of Alabama at Huntsville. To this day, the majority of the university’s research funding still
comes from NASA or the Department of Defence, while it serves as the anchor for the technology-focused Cummings Research Park. “We have contractual relationships with a number of companies in the research park,” says UAH president Robert Altenkirch, whose university ranks fourth nationally for aeronautical and astronautical engineering. “For example, we worked on the mirrors that go on the James Webb Space Telescope, which was under Ball Aerospace. These projects are sometimes very large and there’ll be a number of entities working on them, and oen we’re one of them.” The state’s growth in tech jobs is also good news for students at the University of North Alabama, which is opening its $39.7-million Science and Technology Building for the fall semester, with new programs such as engineering technology. “I think every one of those graduates will have multiple job oﬀers by the time they walk out, because of the booming economy of North Alabama,” says president Kenneth Kis. Elsewhere, Vulcan Materials was founded in 1909 as the Birmingham Slag Company, and has since grown to be the nation’s largest aggregates producer. It reported total revenue of nearly $3 billion in 2014 as it serves a footprint that includes 18 of the 25 fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. A quarter of its business comes from highway construction, and so the company is nicely poised as the U.S. looks to rebuild its road network. “It’s so important for our country to allow people and services to get to market and to get there economically, and it’s a maer of national defense,” says president and CEO J. Thomas Hill. “We
literally build the foundation that all that infrastructure is built upon.” Meanwhile, Energen has developed a signiﬁcant presence across southern America, following its transition from a gas utility to pure-play exploration and production. The company completed its transformation with the sale of Alagasco for $1.6 billion in 2014, which has helped it navigate the current low-commodityprice environment. “We focused in what we think is one of the best oils basins in the United States, the Permian Basin of West Texas,” says chairman and CEO James McManus. “We now have a very deep drilling inventory, with almost 5,600 unrisked locations. And the company’s balance sheet is underleveraged, so even though we’ve gone into an oil price decline, the company is in good shape to be able to weather that storm.” Alabama’s inﬂuence also stretches to sports and entertainment. Muscle Shoals rewrote the American songbook in the 1960s and 70s, while the Southeastern Conference has been headquartered in Birmingham since 1948. In addition to its 200-plus national championships, the SEC’s presence can be seen in close to 65 million homes across the country though the SEC Network, and then throughout the world as its members continue to aract foreign students. “The impact on our communities, the states, our region, our nation, and in many ways the world, that comes from our campuses is incredible when you start to look at the global spectrum of what we do, and at the individual people that come through our universities,” says Greg Sankey, who takes over as SEC commissioner in August.
E V E R Y Y E A R , E N E R G E N S P O N S O R S A N A R T C O M P E T I T I O N AT I T S B I R M I N G H A M H Q , D I S P L AY I N G A R O U N D 2 0 0 P A I N T I N G S B Y A L A B A M A A R T I S T S . F R O M I T S 3 3 5 Q U A R R I E S , V U L C A N M AT E R I A L S S E R V E S M A R K E T S I N 2 0 S TAT E S , T H E D I S T R I C T O F C O L U M B I A , M E X I C O A N D T H E B A H A M A S . HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
Advanced manufacturing In the early 1990s, Alabama had no car-making business to speak of, but this has grown rapidly since the recruitment of MercedesBenz. The industry produced 994,000 vehicles last year and now represents Alabama’s largest export sector, at $6.6 billion, following the subsequent arrivals of Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and their extensive supplier network. “This was one of the ﬁrst plants we put in the south,” says Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama president James Bolte. “We started out with about 350 people building V8 engines and since then we’ve expanded four times and had ﬁve major investments, and we’re up to almost 1300 team members now.” Toyota’s Huntsville facility is its only plant that builds four, six and eight-cylinder engines under one roof, making it a key cog in the company’s North American supply chain, and one of its largest facilities in the world. Meanwhile, close to 3,000 people work at Hyundai’s Montgomery facility, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. During that time, around $1.7 billion has been invested in creating one of the most advanced assembly plants in America. “The plant was originally built to manufacture 300,000 vehicles a year,” says Rick Neal, senior VP of human resources and administration at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. “Due to demand in
the U.S. for the particular models that we manufacture, which is currently the Sonata and the Elantra, we had to go to a three-shi operation in 2012, so now the plant is generating just under 400,000 units per year.” These ﬁrms are soon to be joined by Polaris Industries, which announced in January 2015 that it would augment its worldwide manufacturing network with a facility near Huntsville, with a focus on oﬀ-road vehicle production. “We strive for global market leadership,” says chairman and CEO Sco Wine. “Whether it’s larger acquisitions, expanding our overseas presence, or just expanding our armada of oﬀ-road vehicles, we see a great opportunity to continue to proﬁtably grow this business.” It’s not just automanufacturing that’s on the rise though. Exciting things are happening in Mobile, where Airbus is completing the construction of its ﬁrst U.S.-based assembly plant, and Austal’s shipyard has grown from 800 employees in late 2009 to more than 4,200 today as the Australian company executes its contracts on Lioral Combat Ships and Joint High Speed Vessels for the U.S. Navy. “Our primary vision and mission is to be a leading defense contractor,” says Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA. “We’re introducing new technologies to continue that support of our defense industry, and we have a focus on increasing our international presence.”
Clockwise from left: UAH is a national leader in high-tech research; Hyundai’s Montgomery plant utilizes the latest developments in manufacturing technology; Toyota employs close to 1,300 people in the Huntsville area
TROY UNIVERSITY Known as ‘Alabama’s International University’, Troy’s academic reach extends far beyond the state. It is a leading educator of the U.S. military, serving 20 bases domestic and overseas as well as online, while it maintains relationships with 60 partner institutions in China and offers in-person classes at three universities in Vietnam. In 2007, Troy established Alabama’s first Confucius Institute, providing Chinese language and cultural instruction to students and business leaders, and supporting trade missions to southeast Asia. In addition, it has emphasized the importance of foreign exchange programs and the recruitment of students from abroad, who now represent 76 nations. “Too often in the past, ignorance has been our greatest challenge,” says chancellor Jack Hawkins. “So we think if we can facilitate that understanding of the global village and understanding of people who are different from ourselves, it will enhance the total educational experience for all of our students—not just for those who come from those 76 countries but those from the U.S. as well.”
P R O T E C T I V E L I F E A N D D A I - I C H I H AV E C O M M I T T E D $ 2 3 M T O A L A B A M A I N S T I T U T I O N S O V E R T H E C O U R S E O F F I V E Y E A R S . I N 2 0 13 , T R O Y B E C A M E A L A B A M A’ S F I R S T P U R P L E H E A R T U N I V E R S I T Y. 18 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA is a place of unlimited possibilities, unrestrained ideas and exceptional accomplishments. Every day, our faculty and students think beyond boundaries in ďŹ elds as diverse as archaeology, cancer research, disaster recovery, cybersecurity, history, marine science, nanomaterials, and the visual arts. Strategically located in the coastal city and commercial hub of Mobile, the University of South Alabama stands as a catalyst for innovation and discovery. HOW FAR WILL YOU GO? GO SOUTH.
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Upon this base, Alabama now hopes to expand on all parts of the production process. “Most people now recognize the fact that we’ve had great success in advanced manufacturing and manufacturing in general. In fact, Alabama products are now found in 192 countries across the globe,” says Canﬁeld. “What we need to do now is go to the next level and have those projects that are going to be made in the future researched, designed and tested here too.” Financial services Alabama may be becoming best-known for its manufacturing prowess, but Birmingham remains the tenth-largest banking center in the U.S., according to a 2014 report by Bancography. Here you’ll ﬁnd the headquarters of Fortune 500-ranked Regions Bank, as well as two stalwarts of the Alabama ﬁnancial services industry that have been acquired by multinational companies in the last decade. BBVA Compass, formed when Spain-based BBVA bought Compass Bancshares in 2007, is one of the 25 largest U.S. commercial banks by deposit market share. In recent years, the company has commied itself to improvements in its digital technologies, with Birmingham the hub for much of this activity. It was here, in 2012, that the company spent $360 million rewriting code for real-time processing of transactions. Then, in spring 2014, a further $13.5 million was invested in the creation of a development center with an emphasis on the agile, collaborative environments more familiar to Silicon Valley. “We’re working on converting an eﬃcient analog bank into a knowledgeservices institution,” says executive VP Lee Smith. “We think that the digital transformation will continue to accelerate. We want to be on the forefront of that, and we believe we are.” Protective Life, founded by former Alabama governor William Jelks in 1907, merged with Tokyo-based Dai-Ichi Life Insurance in a deal worth $5.7 billion, in
Austal is the world’s largest aluminum shipbuilder February 2015. Together, they form the world’s 13th-largest insurance company, with total assets exceeding $400 billion. “Dai-Ichi is very determined to broaden the scope of its business outside of Japan, and build a global insurance company,” says Protective Life president, chairman and CEO, John Johns. “We were an ideal ﬁt for that strategic need.” The deal leaves Protective well-poised to become a more signiﬁcant player in the U.S. insurance industry, with greater stability, a longer-term approach to planning and the capital resources to take advantage of bigger acquisition opportunities should they come along. Life sciences The state’s leadership is also looking to diversify the economy, by complementing these established industries with those in up-and-coming, R&D-based ﬁelds. “We’re going to have success in traditional sectors but we’re seeing growth in emerging technology and in new sectors of our economy,” says Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. “One of the key strategies is a partnership with our research institutions and research universities in the state, because of their intellectual capital and their ability to support the growth of those companies.” One of the most important contributors to this ecosystem is the University of Alabama at Birmingham,
which ranks tenth nationally among public universities in NIH funding. “What really diﬀerentiates our academic medical center from other excellent hospitals is we are doing discovery research, looking to unravel the molecular basis of the most serious diseases facing mankind,” says UAB president Ray Was. UAB’s impact is felt both locally— in the third-largest public hospital in America—and internationally, with representatives working on all seven continents, including Antarctica. For example, UAB faculty can be found in Zambia, investigating the mother-tochild transmission of HIV, and in South Africa, carrying out research into multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. The Birmingham healthcare environment grows even more comprehensive when you consider the programs oﬀered at Samford University, which has added to its long-held expertise in nursing and pharmacy education with a school of public health and a school of health professions. All of these are located in its new College of Health Sciences. “By puing these four schools under one umbrella, and by causing the faculty and students of these schools to interact closely, we believe that we’re fostering the kind of preparation that will hold them in good stead as they enter health ﬁelds in the future,” says Samford president Andrew Westmoreland.
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hello Huntsville Bucket List Item #4: The beauty at the Huntsville Botanical Garden is breathtaking. The 120-acre landscape is overflowing with stunning floral collections and houses the nation’s largest seasonal butterfly house. Let this stand as your official invite from the Rocket City…we’d love to have you.
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Two very diﬀerent companies demonstrate how Alabama can provide a platform for growth, whatever your background The native: Brasﬁeld & Gorrie
The newcomer: Airbus
For those watching Alabama’s recent development eﬀorts, the name Brasﬁeld & Gorrie will be a familiar one—the company took leading a role in the terminal modernization at Birmingham-Shulesworth International Airport, the construction of the city’s Railroad Park and Westin Hotel, and the expansion of UA’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Founded in 1964, when Miller Gorrie acquired the assets of Thomas Brasﬁeld’s contracting ﬁrm, Brasﬁeld & Gorrie has grown from only a handful of workers to be the largest general contractor in the Southeast. By 2014, annual revenues had increased from $800,000 to $2.2 billion, while the company now boasts more than 2,600 employees working in 19 states. Although further regional oﬃces have been opened across the region, Birmingham has always been home—a relationship that Brasﬁeld & Gorrie continues to recognize. “Our company takes a proactive approach in the business and civic aﬀairs of our city and state,” says president and CEO Jim Gorrie. “We are members of several chambers of commerce throughout the region and, as a company, we encourage corporate and individual philanthropy, including service with charitable organizations and causes. We believe that the result of these activities help enhance the quality of life for our citizens and contribute to a stronger business environment.”
In July 2012, Airbus announced that it was to be the latest member of the state’s burgeoning advanced manufacturing community, as it chose the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley for its ﬁrst-ever production facility in the U.S.—for which, incidentally, Brasﬁeld & Gorrie was selected as one of the primary contractors. Here, the company beneﬁts from AIDT’s tailored workforce development programs and the deep waters of the Port of Mobile, as well as prior knowledge of the area—Airbus already oversees an engineering center and its military customer services operation supporting the U.S. Coast Guard out of the city. A $600-million investment, the new 53-acre development will support close to 1,000 jobs in the assembly and delivery of its single-aisle aircra. The ﬁrst planes are set to roll out next year, with the company anticipating that the site could produce between 40 and 50 A319, A320 and A321s by 2018. These numbers could be just a starting point; forecasts predict that the worldwide demand for single-aisle models could reach more than 20,000 over the next two decades, much of this from the North American market. At the very least, within a couple of years, the plane you’ll be siing on could be an Alabama product.
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PLANNING AHEAD A city-by-city look at how Alabama’s major metros are preparing for growth in the 21st century Birmingham Alabama’s largest city was only founded in 1871 but quickly become one of the South’s primary industrial centers. With this came such population growth that the city even picked up the moniker ‘Magic City’. To this day, it remains the state’s largest metropolitan area, and accountable for close to a third of Alabama GDP—even as its economic base diversiﬁes into new high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing and life sciences. “Steelmaking was the impetus to Birmingham’s rapid growth in the 1800s
and early 1900s,” says Birmingham Business Alliance president and CEO Brian Hilson. “As technology changed and the economy changed, and the numbers of jobs required to make steel decreased, Birmingham, at the same time, was well into a phase of growth that centered around technology development.” In part, this is due to the emergence of a comprehensive research base, anchored by the likes of UAB and Southern Research, which have established Birmingham as an internationally recognized hub for medical technology and discovery. In
part, this is due to a healthy entrepreneurial environment—the city’s Innovation Depot is the Southeast’s biggest technology incubator, housing more than 90 startups across its 140,000 square feet of business space. In all, more than 700 technology-based companies are now located in the Birmingham area, with global ﬁrms such as Oxford Pharmaceuticals, Evonik and Steris Corp either already here or on their way. Besides this, the city has transformed its downtown area with the construction of modern aractions and community projects, and the revitalization of many
Downtown Birmingham, as seen from Railroad Park
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of its old buildings, assisted by the provision of historical tax credits to help pay for their renovation. In recent years, the city has added a series of downtown anchors, such as a new Westin hotel and entertainment district close to its Birmingham-Jeﬀerson Convention Complex, the 19-acre Railroad Park and the Regions Field baseball park, home to the Class AA Birmingham Barons. More than $740 million of investment is still planned or currently underway, including the construction of more than 1,700 multifamily and lo units. “In the last few years we have had a resurgence not only in terms of capital investment, but a resurgence among our community leaders about the importance of growing downtown,” says Hilson. Signs point to this being a success. Tourism is on the up, companies are relocating from the suburbs and the number of people living downtown has
increased by more than 30 percent since 2000. This movement has even gained national recognition, with the likes of The New York Times and Forbes writing proﬁles of Birmingham’s renaissance. “With everything going on in the city now, with the new aractions, Railroad Park, the baseball ﬁeld and all the development in the downtown area, there just seems to be a real energy here,” says Michael Gunn, VP of sales at the Greater Birmingham CVB. “There is an excitement in the air that I have never felt before.” According to Hilson, the future is bright for the Magic City. “We’re seeing a lot of job growth,” he says. “I also want to see a lot of workforce growth in Birmingham—people who choose to come to Birmingham because they want to live here, and then ﬁgure out what the job and career opportunities are, as opposed to just following job availability.”
Montgomery Like Birmingham, Alabama’s capital has taken great strides towards the revitalization of its downtown and riverfront areas, with more than $2 billion invested in redevelopment projects over the last decade. “It all begins with a vision from leadership to try to aract and retain young talent,” says Randall George, president of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. “We’re a university town and yet we kept seeing a lot of our young people going to other places. What we were trying to do is ﬁnd a way to capitalize on that and at the same time recognize through Montgomery’s history, its opportunities to exploit, in a positive way, our convention and tourism development activities.” Headline projects include the conversion of a historic train shed into a baseball stadium for the Montgomery Biscuits, and the construction of the
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Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, 1,800-seat Montgomery Performing Arts Center and a new $12-million multi-sport facility. Old commercial buildings have been transformed into a series of modern residential los, while The Alley entertainment district has seen a wave of new restaurants, galleries and bars. This resurgence mirrors that of the city’s economy, which received a boost in 2002 when Hyundai selected Montgomery for its ﬁrst U.S. production facility. Taking into account the 30-plus suppliers that have since followed the manufacturer here, the plant is reckoned to now contribute $3.8 billion in annual economic impact. Meanwhile, organizations across the city partnered with AIDT to ensure that the next-generation workers possess the skills that match local industry needs. With a focus on advanced manufacturing and I.T., the Montgomery Regional Workforce Training Center supports high-school students, college students and those in continuing education. “The last 10 years for Montgomery have really been transformative,” says George. “I don’t think there’s any question that the next 10 will be equally as transformative, given the acquisitions that have been made and the plans that are on the drawing board.”
Huntsville “Companies here tackle very diﬃcult problems,” explains Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. “That’s everything from aircra to building nanosatellites to ﬁguring out how to hit a bullet with a bullet when closing at 15,000 miles an hour.” With that in mind, it’s remarkable to think that as recently as the 1930s, Huntsville was known as the ‘Watercress Capital of the World’. Things began to change during the Second World War, when an arsenal was built to manufacture artillery shells and then became the home of Wernher von Braun and his team of missile experts. By 1958, the decision was made to move the entire U.S. Army missile development and training program here, as well as the space vehicle center of the newly formed NASA. Within two decades, Huntsville had grown from an agrarian community to the center
of the U.S. eﬀorts in the space race. A new name was bestowed: ‘Rocket City’. From here, a research community quickly grew up, led by UAH, and has expanded ever since. Cummings Research Park was established to facilitate the support activities needed to assist NASA and other federal bodies. Now the second-largest such park in the country, with more than 300 technology-related companies and their 26,000 employees, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014 and is set to develop an updated master plan as it explores its role going forward. “Long term, we would like to have some additional growth in diversity where we can leverage the expertise that we have on the arsenal and within the private sector supporting the arsenal, to generate more private sector activity,” says Cherry. “We have a tendency to design a lot of things, solve a lot of problems and do a lot of engineering solutions, but it’s actually puing hands on things and making things that’s not nearly as robust as we would like.”
Alabama State Capitol building, Montgomery
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IN THE SOUTH FOR REGIONAL UNIVERSITIES
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—U.S. News & World Report
# TOP-RANKED UNIVERSITY IN ALABAMA —Forbes Inc.
IN THE SOUTH FOR BEST UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING —U.S. News & World Report
To this end, the region has placed an emphasis on aracting advanced manufacturing companies, with the hope they can replicate the success witnessed at Toyota’s Huntsville plant. The last two years have proven fruitful, with both Polaris and Remington announcing that they are opening facilities in the region that could each eventually employ close to 2,000 people. The laer of these will be located at the Jetplex Industrial Park, a 4,000-acre complex adjacent to Huntsville International Airport that already boasts the likes of Raytheon and Boeing as tenants. “We have put together the facilities and services necessary for commerce and industry to do business in this international trade market environment that we’re in,” says the airport’s executive director, Richard Tucker. “We can handle someone that
needs only a few acres or someone that needs hundreds of acres.” Alongside these developments, Huntsville is also welcoming investment in its downtown area, although these take a diﬀerent manner to those witnessed in the rest of Alabama’s big cities. Huntsville’s growth did not take oﬀ until the 1940s, when the zenith of the American downtown movement had already been passed, meaning it can concentrate its eﬀorts on bringing residential units to the center, to create the buzz that comes with a 24-hour life cycle. According to Cherry, “We’ve been blessed with the opportunity that rather than having to focus on historic preservation and the rehabbing of old buildings, we can design some unique planned-unit developments downtown where you have a mix of retail, some service things and apartments, mixed in with some oﬃces.”
One of the ﬁrst major projects, Twickenham Square, opened last September and has already welcomed a thriving community of businesses, residential units and restaurants. A former Holiday Inn property is soon to get the same treatment in a $70-million overhaul. And the city continues to expand the Quigley Arts and Entertainment District that has brought new dynamism to evening life. “A new area that’s really growing is our Lowe Mill district. This is an area that now has 125 studios with 200 working artists—that’s the largest in the nation for one concentration of artists,” says Judy Ryals, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County CVB. “They have concerts on the dock every Friday night during the summer months, and they have special events such as the cigar box guitar festival— just unique things that most anyone would have a real interest in.”
“Companies here tackle very diﬃcult problems. That’s everything from aircra to building nanosatellites to ﬁguring out how to hit a bullet with a bullet when closing at 15,000 miles an hour”
M O B I L E WA S R A NK E D T H I R D A M O N G M E T R O A R E A S F O R E C O N O M I C G R O W T H P O T E N T I A L B Y B U S I N E S S FA C I L I T I E S , I N 2 0 14 . C N N . C O M I N C L U D E D G U L F S H O R E S A N D O R A N G E B E A C H I N I T S “ 5 0 S TAT E S , 5 0 S P O T S F O R 2 0 14 ”. 28 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
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THE POWER TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS. At Alabama Power, we’ve helped countless industries evaluate our state as a proﬁtable place to do business. Sure, we have competitive electricity rates, but it’s Alabama’s strong workforce, industrial training program, low taxes and excellent university and community college systems that make us so attractive to businesses interested in expansion or relocation. So if you’re looking for a new place to call home, look to Alabama. firstname.lastname@example.org I www.amazingalabama.com
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Mobile and the Gulf Coast “In the ﬁeld of economic development, the margins have got thinner and thinner, so if you’ve got logistical advantages, that’s certainly a competitive advantage,” says Bill Sisson, president and CEO at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. His city has got them all: deep-water access, two interstate systems, ﬁve Class 1 railroads, nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections and a 9,600-foot runway capable of accommodating any aircra in the world. Together, they have helped the ﬁrst capital of French Louisiana aract some of the most signiﬁcant capital investment projects in Alabama history, from ThyssenKrupp’s $5-billion steel plant (now owned by ArcelorMial and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp) to Airbus’s ﬁrst U.S.-based production facility, at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. In doing so, the region has fostered a thriving advanced manufacturing
“We’ve done a fantastic job of recruiting large-scale economic development and manufacturing, and we need to do an equally good job at fostering homegrown business” environment, in chemicals, metals, maritime and aviation—where the Airbus deal is the feather in the cap for a city that has worked hard to grow a sustainable aerospace industry. “Our number-one goal is to be the facilitator of a globally competitive aerospace cluster, where we’re driving R&D, innovation, prototyping and payload manufacturing-type activities to help our companies seize market space and drive into new markets,” says Roger Wehner, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, who points out that suppliers have already begun following Airbus into the Aeroplex. In 2014, Southwest Alabama became one of the ﬁrst 12 regions to be designated as a manufacturing community by the
U.S. Department of Commerce—a title that will help not only Mobile in its marketing, but also allow it priority access to $1.3 billion of federal economic development grants. With the University of South Alabama, the chamber has already applied for funding that would help it explore the possibility of instituting a technology corridor in downtown Mobile—part of its eﬀorts to promote the city’s startup culture. “We have realized that we have a lot of growth potential in the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Mobile,” says Sisson. “We’ve done a fantastic job of recruiting large-scale economic development and manufacturing, and we need to do an equally good job at fostering homegrown business.”
Should the project come to pass, it will add to the list of developments that are reshaping the downtown landscape, as mayor Sandy Stimpson moves towards his goal of making Mobile the safest, and most business and family-friendly city in America by 2020. To date, much of the investment has come from the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which has, for example, renovated the century-old Van Antwerp building into new oﬃce space, while there is no shortage of new hotels and restaurants ﬁnding homes in the city’s historic buildings. “Mobile has done a really good job of growing manufacturing. That is a dominant economic engine, revenue driver and job producer in Mobile and the region,” says Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Mobile Bay CVB. “Now I think where the opportunity to really move the needle tremendously is in tourism.” This year, Mobile will open the
PORT OF MOBILE Much of Alabama’s success in recruiting foreign investment in recent years would not have been possible were it not for the Port of Mobile and its deep-water access. Today, the Alabama State Port Authority is responsible for $18.7 billion in annual economic impact and supports more than 127,000 jobs—both of which could be set to increase when a project to increase the capacity of the Panama Canal is completed next year. “We already host these larger ships coming out of Europe, but the new canal will enable the larger post-
GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico—a 90,000-squarefoot museum spanning eight ﬂoors that is expected to aract 300,000 visitors annually. Hutchinson believe this will help draw people that have never been
Panamax ships to come from Asia, so it should increase the volume through the port,” says James Lyons, director and CEO of the Alabama Port Authority. “There will be a shi in market share away from the West Coast—not all by any means, but there will be a shi and we expect to capitalize at least on some of that.” In preparation, the port has invested close to $700 million in improvements and expansions over the past decade, including the construction of a $300-million container terminal and an adjacent intermodal facility.
to the city before, and keep them coming back: “I think in the next 5 or 10 years, tourism will be as large as manufacturing as an economic engine here in the community—at least that’s the goal.” Along the coast, tourism is the
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International students ﬁnd success at Troy University. With a wide variety of programs and a reputation for excellence, it’s no surprise that so many students from around the world choose to earn their degrees from our public university. On our historic Troy, Alabama, campus, students from 76 countries come together to learn from expert faculty and one another. That’s the warrior spirit.
S EVEN TY-S IX CO U N TR I ES.
ONE WARR IOR SPI R IT.
Feel it at troy.edu/spirit or call 1-800-586-9771. © 2015 Troy University ity From Fro om The Pr Pri rinceton nceton Review, w, Au ugu ug ugus gustt 1, 2014 © 20 2014 014 0 14 4 TPR E Educati Educa Edu du ucca cation, atiio on, n, LLC LLLC. LC. A Allll rrig righ ig gh hts ts rese reserved errv rve ved.. Use Used ed e d by by p pe erm rmis mission m ission sion ion and dp protect prote pro ro ottecte tected ected ed db byy tthe he C Copyrigh Copy opyrrright ig ght LLaws La aw wss o off tthe th he U Un nite ited ed S States. Sta tatttes es. s T The he h e pri printin inti nting, ing g,, ccop copyi opying, o pyi yin ng, n g, redistri rredi edisstributi trib bution, utio on, n, o orr rretra etransmi e tran nsmissio smisssion sion of of tthi this his cconten co on ntent tent w wiitthout withou ho out e exxp expres press ress written writ w rittten en p permissi perm ermiission ssio on n iiss p prro prohib ohibited hibiited. ted ed.
predominant industry in Baldwin County. Some 5.7 million people migrated to its white beaches in 2014, adding $3.5 billion in travel-related expenditures. This marked the fourth successive record year for the region, as it witnesses continued upscaling of its accommodation options. “As we are successful and draw bigger crowds of tourists, then that makes it more justiﬁed for developers of things like condominium products and hotel products, or restaurant and retail products to invest more,” explains Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism president and CEO Herb Malone, who wants to simultaneously boost the area’s appeal as a meetings destination. “We see a convention center as one of our big needs and there’s been a number of proposals on the table in years past. We hope to be able to be able to bring some of those proposals to fruition sometime in the future.”
Beachside developments in Gulf Shores
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AL BY NUMBERS ALABAMA HAS:
Alabama has 22.9 million acres of forest. This is larger than the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachuses, New Jersey and Rhode Island combined; while it has the third-most timberland of the lower 48 states
ALABAMA HAS: 48,500 48,500 farms, with 9 million acres of farmland. It is:
interstates, totaling 1,060 miles
Class I railroads, totaling 2,000+ miles
miles of waterways
#2 #2 in U.S. freshwater ﬁsh production
miles of beaches
colleges and universities
#3 #3 in U.S. poultry production
Alabama has 1,200 sites included in the National Register of Historic Places, and 36 National Historic Landmarks.
Birmingham is home to Vulcan, the world’s largest cast-iron statue. It is 56 feet tall and weighs 120,000 pounds.
Dauphin Island is home to 347 species of birds.
#3 #3 in peanut production
T H E R O B E R T T R E N T J O N E S G O L F T R A I L F E AT U R E S 4 6 8 H O L E S , A C R O S S 11 S I T E S . THE PORT OF MOBILE IS THE NINTH-LARGEST SEAPORT IN AMERICA. 34 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
Suddenly, you’re in a whole different state of “Wonder Women!” “Can’t catch us!” “Follow that dolphin!”
The magic truly begins the moment you mix uncrowded, sugar-white beaches and turquoise water with a variety of family-friendly attractions and
accommodations. Come be transformed.
Suddenly, you’re in a whole different state of “Breakout session!” “Now, I’m inspired” “Talk about ROI”
A change in environment can inspire big ideas at your next meeting, event or convention. At Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, sugar white beaches, exceptional seafood and unique networking and meeting venues put you in a whole different state of creativity.
No.40462 - Alabama_Tourism_Dept 1pp.indd 1
OUT OF OFFICE With fascinating museums, varied natural landscapes and some of America’s best golf, Alabama has plenty to oﬀer when the workday’s over
Civil Rights Trail Often considered the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, Alabama is home to numerous sites and facilities dedicated to its history—from Montgomery’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum, and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor; to Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge; to Birmingham’s Civil Rights Institute.
Mardi Gras Forget New Orleans—America’s oldest Mardi Gras celebrations can actually be found in Mobile, where it dates back to 1703. Joyous parades, colorful floats, mystic societies and flying moon pies fill the streets for two and a half weeks every year, with nearly a million llion revelers there ere to enjoy the festivities.
FACTFILE Visitors: 24.3 million (2014) VIsitor spending: $11.7 billion Employment: 167,273 Tax revenues: $768 million
I N A P R I L 2 0 15 , Z A G AT R A N K E D B I R M I N G H A M N U M B E R - O N E O N I T S L I S T O F A M E R I C A’ S N E X T H O T F O O D C I T I E S . M O N T G O M E R Y WA S V O T E D A M E R I C A’ S B E S T H I S T O R I C C I T Y I N U S A T O D AY ’ S 10 B E S T R E A D E R S ’ C H O I C E T R AV E L AWA R D S , I N 2 0 14 . 36 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
U.S. Space & Rocket Center When a museum features an authentic Saturn V rocket—one of only three in the world—you know it’s going to be a special day out. Opened in 1970, it’s now the top paid tourism attraction in Alabama, with 650,000 people visiting last year to see one of the world’s largest collections of space artifacts and propulsion technology.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum The world’s largest motorcycle museum, according to Guinness World Records, is located at Barber Motorsports Park, east of Birmingham. More than 600 bikes are on display at any time, dating from 1902 to the current day, while 65,000 enthusiasts come together on one October weekend for a vintage bike race and swap meet.
LEE SENTELL DIRECTOR OF THE ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Every year, more than 500,000 golfers tread the fairways (provided they don’t have a wicked hook) of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. It features 26 courses across 11 locations, each designed according to Jones’s philosophy that nobody remembers easy courses. Don’t let that put you off though: The New York Times went as far as to call the Trail “some of the best public golf on Earth.”
Beaches Sand so white it looks bleached, and clear turquoise waters—beaches don’t come more postcard-perfect than those in Alabama’s Gulf State Park, at the state’s southernmost point. If sandcastles aren’t your thing, there’s plenty else to do, including deep-sea fishing, water sports and dolphin sightseeing cruises.
“Alabama is blessed with impressive topography. The top third of the state has mountains from one side to the other, and the southern half of the state is a coastal plain that ends with the beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. “There is a relaxed attitude where we have a slower pace of life, and treat visitors as we treat our neighbors. People who have not spent much time in the South tell us that they have heard of the phrase ‘Southern hospitality’, but it didn’t connect with them until they experienced it here. “We are a friendly people and are happy to tell visitors about not only restaurants where they should go in their area, but what to order, and what tourist attractions they should not miss. And in particular, we encourage people to visit our history museums, that explain not only who we are, but how we got where we are today.”
T R I P A D V I S O R N A M E D G U L F S H O R E S O N E O F I T S 10 D E S T I N AT I O N S O N T H E R I S E I N I T S 2 0 14 T R AV E L E R S ’ C H O I C E AWA R D S . 2 0 15 I S T H E ‘ Y E A R O F A L A B A M A B A R B E C U E ’, W I T H E V E N T S S C H E D U L E D A C R O S S T H E S TAT E T O C E L E B R AT E I T S P I T M A S T E R S . HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
LA AL A B A M A
BEYOND THE HORIZON Alabama’s downtown revitalization projects, robust manufacturing sector and commitment to innovation have le it nicely poised for the future. So what’s going to happen in the next 25 years? 2 018 : T E N T H T I M E ’ S T H E C H A R M
2 0 2 0 : N AT I O N A L L E A D E R I N E D U C AT I O N
Alabama’s food scene is geing plenty of plaudits as Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill ﬁnally receives the James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America, aer nine consecutive years as a ﬁnalist.
Governor Bentley’s vision becomes reality, as Alabama’s high school graduation rate surpasses 90 percent. Celebrations continue with the news that the state’s thriving pre-K program has once again been named the best in the nation.
2 0 2 2 : A L A B A M A’ S A T O U R I S M H O T S P O T
Buoyed by the success of GulfQuest, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and other new aractions, the Alabama tourism department announces yet another record year, with close to 30 million visitors spending more than $15 billion across the state.
2 0 31 : UP, UP A N D AWAY
The growth of the state’s aerospace sector mirrors that of the car industry, as Airbus expands its plant to cope with increasing global demand. Meanwhile, Auburn has become an international leader in unmanned aerial system technologies.
2 0 3 6 : A M E R I C A’ S P O R T O F C A L L
Twenty years on from the expansion of the Panama Canal, the Port of Mobile continues to reap the beneﬁts. Trade with Southeast Asia is ﬂourishing, while a new passing canal has meant two massive cargo ships can pass in and out at the same time.
2 0 4 0 : A N E W G E N E R AT I O N E M E R G E S
Huntsville gets its ﬁrst homegrown Fortune 500 corporation, as one of its promising technology companies completes its meteoric rise from the Cummings Research Park to the front pages of the ﬁnancials. North Alabama is hailed as America’s next tech heartland.
THE MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER IS DESIGNING THE XPROPULSION L AUNCH SYSTEM, THE L ARGEST ROCKE T E VER BUILT. X X X X X X X X XSYSTEM X X X X X FOR X X X XTHE X X XSPACE X B O E I N G I S O P E N I N G A T E C H N O L O G Y R E S E A R C H C E NXTXEXRX IXNX HX UXNXTXSXV XI LXLXEX TX HX AT X X F O C U S E S O N F U T U R E A E R O S PA C E T E C H N O L O G I E S . 38 | HEMISPHERESMAGAZINE.COM/DOSSIER
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40688 - Alabama_Dept_Of_Commerce 1pp.indd 1
Published on Jul 2, 2015
Hemispheres, United's inflight magazine, features the latest business and travel trends, topical stories and in-depth articles. Alabama is f...