CULLMAN - Site Selection magazine has named Cullman as the no. 2 micropolitan in the country for 2016. It’s the second consecutive year Cullman has ranked second. Micropolitans are cities with a population of 10,000 to 50,000 that cover at least one county. There are 575 micropolitans in the U.S.
Findlay, Ohio ranked no. 1 again for total number of qualified new and expanding industrial projects. Findlay had 22 qualifying projects in 2016, while Cullman had 19.
To qualify, a new or expanding company must meet one of three criteria – a capital investment of more than $1 million, building construction of more than 20,000 square feet or creation of 20 new jobs.
Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) Director Peggy Smith said, “This is an outstanding recognition for our community and the industrial base here.”
Site Selection is a recognized leader in the economic development field and Smith says their lofty ranking of Cullman validates the tremendous industrial growth here.
“We ranked third in the nation in 2014 and improved to second in 2015,” Smith said. “I am excited that we closed the gap on Findlay and I am optimistic that we can be number one because of the strength of the workforce here and the quality of the industries in our community. It is disappointing in some respects to be second, but there are 573 other communities envious of this Cullman ranking that would gladly trade places with Cullman to move up on this list. We are the no. 1 micropolitan in the South.”
Smith says the CEDA staff did an excellent job of collecting the data and submitting documentation on the qualifying projects.
“The Site Selection team verifies the submittal, but it all starts with our agency presenting those facts for the judges. I want to acknowledge the efforts of our office team. However, the real winners are the new and expanding industry that continue to create jobs and invest capital here. We are so appreciative of their role in the economic stability of this community,” Smith said.
Top U.S. Micropolitans
New and Expanded Facilities in 2016
Micropolitan- Total Qualified Projects
- Findlay, Ohio- 22
- Cullman, Alabama- 19
- Wooster, Ohio- 17
- Shelby, North Carolina- 11
- Tupelo, Mississippi- 10
- Batavia, New York- 10
- Bardstown, Kentucky- 9
- Martinsville, Virginia- 8
- Douglas, Georgia- 6
- Jefferson, Georgia- 6
- Wilson, North Carolina.- 6
- Ogdensburg-Massena, New York- 6
- Celina, Ohio- 6
- Defiance, Ohio- 6
- Portsmouth, Ohio- 6
Image by Dave Warren. See more of his work here: https://www.facebook.com/davewarrenphotography/