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$476 Million in Economic Development Investment; 816 Jobs for Jefferson County During 2023

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The Jefferson County Courthouse, in Birmingham. Economic development investment in the county reached nearly $476 million in 2023. (Contributed)

By Barrnett Wright | The Birmingham Times

Economic development investment in Alabama’s most populous county reached nearly $476 million in 2023 with 40 projects and 816 jobs announced.

Jeff Traywick, economic development advisor for the Jefferson County Commission, said investment in the county reached $475.94 million last year. Among the projects: a refresh of the Wells Fargo data center ($205 million); ReConserve, a contractor/supplier for the giant J.M Smucker Co. plant expected to open later this year in McCalla ($31 million); and the Brasfield & Gorrie headquarters expansion in Birmingham ($19 million).

“The county has been creative in identifying ways to meet the needs of growth projects,” said Traywick, a former vice president of economic development for the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). “This includes job-based incentives for higher-paying jobs, support for retail and mixed-use development, infrastructure support.”

A rendering of the Brasfield & Gorrie headquarters expansion. (Brasfield & Gorrie)

A number of the projects added up to hundreds of jobs. For example, Mobis US Alabama has two separate projects of automotive parts manufacturing that totaled 138 jobs, according to the county. The Brasfield & Gorrie expansion includes 70 jobs, and Traywick said more projects are on the way.

He noted that the average wage for announced jobs was $62,109, which is “higher than the Jefferson County median household income of $58,330.”

“We are also showing our commitment to quality job creation by investing in a new north Jefferson industrial park that could potentially house several thousand new jobs,” Traywick said.

The county is appealing to a number of businesses because “we have a diverse array of industrial sectors which translates into a well-trained and highly skilled workforce that can meet the diverse needs of businesses,” Traywick said.

He said the county is off to a strong start in 2024 and will look to build on the momentum.

Traywick said two projects have already been announced for the county in 2024, R+L Carriers, and Atlas Tube, that will create almost 100 jobs, with “several near-term announcements that will see more than $350 million in capital investment and another 100 or so jobs.”

“We also are recruiting new industry that provides higher paying opportunities and upskilling for those that might not have the continued education or training needed for more skilled sectors,” Traywick said. “This provides a path for people to gain experience and knowledge and grow their careers here.”

Here are some of the projects that landed in Jefferson County in 2023:

  • Wells Fargo, Data Center Refresh, $205 million.
  • Village Creek Development, mixed use, $32.5 million, 27 jobs.
  • ReConserve, $30.8 million, 29 jobs.
  • Brasfield & Gorrie headquarters expansion, $19 million, 70 jobs.
  • Mobis US Alabama, two projects, $17.76 million, 138 jobs.
  • Ford Service Center, 60 jobs.
  • SecturaSOFT, 50 jobs.
  • Acclinate Genetics, 25 jobs.