December 16, 2021

Booming Huntsville — Why More Businesses are Choosing Rocket City

Even amid pandemic-era disruptions, Huntsville is exploding with new development.

Huntsville is already home to some of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. This year, 34 companies in the Huntsville metro made the esteemed Inc. 5000 list. Now, even more of the nation’s corporate giants are bringing their businesses to this thriving city.

As the innovation hub of the South, Huntsville is teeming with million-dollar expansion projects and new jobs. In particular, three industries are growing their presences in the Huntsville and Madison County area. Here’s what you need to know about the major local players and why they’re betting on Huntsville to prosper.

Aerospace and Defense

Aptly nicknamed “Rocket City,” Huntsville has been a capital for aerospace and defense since World War II.

Space & Rocket Center Huntsville

In the 1940s, the U.S. government established the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, a 38,000-square-foot facility for chemical manufacturing that now houses the army’s missile and rocket programs. In the 1960s, NASA built Saturn V rockets here as part of the race to get American astronauts on the moon. In the years since, nearly 400 aerospace companies have put down roots in Huntsville, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

This year, Huntsville has experienced a steady stream of expansion announcements from aerospace and defense companies: Boeing is planning a 9,000-square-foot expansion, Blue Origin is constructing a $200-million rocket engine factory, Lockheed Martin recently broke ground on a new facility, and Aerojet Rocketdyne moved its defense headquarters to Huntsville.

And that’s only a few of the biggest headlines.

For many aerospace companies, choosing Huntsville as a site for expansion is a no-brainer. Not only does Huntsville allow for proximity to industry partners and customers, but it also allows companies to tap into a rich history of innovation and pool of local talent. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Huntsville has the most aerospace engineers of any metropolitan area in the country.

Diversified Manufacturing

Automotive and electronics manufacturers have steadily grown in the Huntsville area.

Toyota and Mazda recently began production at a new $1.6-billion shared plant. When the plant reaches full production capacity, it will employ 4,000 people and produce up to 300,000 vehicles every year. Near the new facility, Vuteq, an international auto-parts manufacturer, is building a $66-million plant.

Meanwhile, electronics manufacturers like LG Electronics and Sanmina Corporation have announced expansions of their own. LG Electronics recently opened a new solar-panel facility, and Sanmina Corporation continues to increase its investment in Huntsville. In 2019, Sanmina Corporation invested $85 million in the community and hired more than 200 new employees.

Huntsville’s low cost of living makes it easy for manufacturing companies to recruit new workers. The U.S. News & World Report named Huntsville No. 1 on its list of the 25 most affordable places to live nationwide.

The city has sweetened the pot to relocate your business to Huntsville, integrating manufacturing into school curriculums. Students begin learning the basics of coding in elementary school, and are exposed to the principles of manufacturing and engineering in middle school, according to reporting by OZY.

Technology and Engineering

Perhaps the most famous tech company expanding in the area is Facebook, which began building a massive data-center campus at the North Huntsville Industrial Park in 2018. The sprawling, 2.5-million-square-foot campus went online in mid-September. Facebook has invested more than $1 billion in the project and will create hundreds of jobs when the facilities are complete.

Finding qualified candidates for those jobs shouldn’t be a problem for Facebook. Huntsville has one of the highest concentrations of degreed engineers per capita in the country, according to CNBC.

Under the Alabama Jobs Act, Facebook will receive tax credits for its investment and job creation over the next decade, ultimately amounting to more than $86 million. Leaders in other industries, such as Blue Origin, will also receive millions in reimbursements and tax credits per the act.

If you are relocating or expanding your business to the Huntsville area, you need a moving partner who goes the extra mile to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime. Experience a seamless transition with the best moving company in the region by partnering with Armstrong — Huntsville. Get started today by calling 256.772.6664 or requesting a free quote online.

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