Officials praise local industry for making 2023 a record year for jobs and new investment

Feb. 3—Leaders from local industries large and small were the guests of honor this week at an annual industry appreciation event hosted by the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 1. The celebration gave area economic development officials an opportunity to reflect on the industrial sector’s record cumulative investment in Cullman County over the past year.

Taking stock of the current climate of local teamwork that connects the county’s private industrial investors with the public leadership network that supports them, Dale Greer, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, compared the current economic management of Cullman to that of the “Flying 50” civic team. human-minded local leaders who attracted the historic King Edward Cigar Project to the area in the 1950s.

“It was really the first economic development group in Cullman,” Greer said at Thursday’s event, crediting the group with establishing the attitude of community cooperation that today’s public-private partnerships ‘today continue to support. “There were 50 businessmen, they chartered a plane and flew to Jacksonville, Florida, and they recruited King Edward Cigars. They raised over $60,000 in community funds. [capital] at this moment. Today it would be closer to a million dollars. … They deserve the credit for instilling in this community the belief that we need to support industry and create jobs. »

Citing data from the Alabama Department of Commerce, Greer said last year was the county’s biggest on record in attracting private industrial capital.

“Cullman County set an all-time record in 2023 for new capital investment of $488,997,600,” he said, noting that last year’s figure broke a local record ($288 million). dollars and 670 jobs) established a year earlier.

“You can see how significant the growth has been over the last two years. And if you go back 10 years, the industry has invested over $1.7 billion in this country and created over 5,300 jobs,” he said, sparking a series of warm discussions. …

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