35 YEARS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING MOBILE’S ECONOMY
Business View – December 2021/January 2022 / Economic Development
35 YEARS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AND TRANSFORMING MOBILE’S ECONOMY
In 1985, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce launched a five-year initiative – funded by a public-private partnership – to drive economic development and market Mobile to companies looking to expand or relocate. Thirty-five plus years later and six subsequent multi-year initiatives later, the Chamber’s economic development efforts are impressive.
Mobile is consistently listed among various “top places” rankings and has transformed its economy to become the envy of communities throughout the Southeast and the United States.
“We are deeply appreciative of the $11 million invested by our 140-plus investors,” said David Rodgers, the Chamber’s vice president for economic development. “The return on investment has been outstanding. Without their support, we would not have been successful in recruiting thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment to Mobile.”
With recent and continuing investments and job growth in aerospace, shipbuilding/maritime, logistics and advanced manufacturing industries, Mobile is a globally significant player in those industries and continues creating economic growth and prosperity for our local businesses and residents.
From January 2018 to June 2021, Chamber staff secured 28 attraction and expansion projects and roughly $2 billion of capital investment, bringing more than 1,600 direct jobs with an annual average salary of $59,500. These investments yielded new annual business output of $1.6 billion.
THE PERFECT BUSINESS CLIMATE
One of the largest cities on the Gulf Coast, and just one hour from the nation’s most beautiful white sand beaches, Mobile is where commerce meets coastal and the bay meets booming industry.
As a major port city, Mobile is an economy organized around a unique mix of industry specializations. Powered by world class talent and unmatched infrastructure, Mobile has the right combination of business-friendly policies and low business costs to attract global companies and cultivate homegrown successes.
Under the leadership and guidance of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the economic development department represents economic development activity for the City of Mobile and Mobile County.
The Chamber’s work is focused on four priority areas — jobs, talent, existing industry and international opportunities.
Each priority requires many private and public-sector partners to achieve success and support growth in the Mobile region. The collaborative approach we call Team Mobile consists of business and community economic development leaders dedicated to growing the area’s economy.
TEAM MOBILE… A WINNING PARTNERSHIP
The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the lead economic development engine for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The region’s continuous economic development success can be contributed to the collaborative efforts of Team Mobile.
Team Mobile is a diverse group of economic development advocates consisting of local utility and educational entities, the City of Mobile, Mobile County, the Mobile Airport Authority, the Alabama State Port Authority, the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Team Mobile provides ready access to resources and agencies that help economic development projects succeed.
A few of Mobile’s key assets include:
▪ Five Class I railroads and Interstates 10 and 65 lead to major U.S. markets
▪ Mobile Downtown Airport and Mobile Regional Airport
▪ The 11th largest port by tonnage in the U.S.
▪ Skilled workforce in a right-to-work state
▪ AIDT – national leader in training and workforce development programs
▪ Strong foreign investment presence, including more than 60 companies representing more than 20 countries
▪ 1,650 acre (667 ha) center for aviation and logistics – Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley
▪ Established clusters in key industries: aviation/aerospace, chemical, shipbuilding, steel manufacturing, distribution and logistics
▪ 1.4 million people with a median age of 38 living within 60 miles
▪ Low cost of living and doing business
Alabama Department of Commerce
Alabama State Port Authority
City of Mobile
Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
Mobile Airport Authority
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Mobile Downtown Alliance
University of South Alabama
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.