Airbus in Alabama: The True Measure of Success

July 2012 – The Airbus decision to establish its A320 final assembly line at Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex makes a strong statement on two fronts:  1. Alabama is still one of the most competitive states in the country for a global manufacturer to accomplish something bold and big, and 2. This state and its local communities know how to put together a team to compete, and win, at the highest and most competitive level in economic development.

We think it says something about Alabama that the state has demonstrated its competitiveness in multiple industries – from automotive to primary metals to aerospace/aviation and other advanced manufacturing – and it has occurred in multiple regions and communities of the state. While we haven’t won every major project for which we’ve competed, our record of success over the last couple of decades has been nothing short of outstanding.

The recent Airbus announcement has again brought attention on the reasons for Alabama’s success. As usual, the state’s competitive business environment, an excellent labor force with an outstanding work ethic, strong state and local leadership and commitment to business and industry, have all been cited. We would agree that those are all major factors that make the state attractive.

However, there’s one reason that is most important when it comes to maintaining the momentum we’ve enjoyed:  When major companies have located in Alabama, they have achieved, and in most cases exceeded, even their most ambitious goals. As evidence, look only to the growth and expansion of company after company that have located here.

So, while we are all excited about the Airbus announcement, we know that the real measure of success will come when the company realizes the goals it has set for its project. While Team Alabama and Team Mobile have worked hard to bring Airbus here, we’ll work even harder to make sure that the company has everything it needs to be successful.

Bill Taylor