Each year, Area Development Magazine publishes its list of the Top 10 site selection factors, as voted on by site location consultants and C-suite decision makers. The list provides economic developers a glimpse into what site selectors consider when analyzing a community as a potential location for a new investment. The 2016 list prioritizes the availability of skilled labor, quality of life, and highway accessibility, positioning Baldwin County for success in the coming year. See below to uncover how Baldwin County meets a company’s site selection needs, according to Area Development’s 2016 Top 10 site selection factors.
- Availability of Skilled Labor
With a regional workforce of more than 500,000 people, Baldwin County is ready to supply skilled workers to flourish in numerous industries. With state-level workforce partners at AIDT and local workforce partners at Coastal Alabama Community College, Baldwin County can recruit and train a skilled workforce, ready to meet the needs of your company. Baldwin County’s Coastal Alabama Community College has recently expanded to meet the workforce training needs of our region. With locations in Bay Minette, Fairhope, and Gulf Shores, Coastal Alabama graduates provide Baldwin County businesses a pipeline of well-trained employees.
- Highway Accessibility
Baldwin County delivers a number of connections across several states. With nine major highways and interstates, including I-10 connecting Jacksonville, FL, to Santa Monica, CA, and I-65 connecting Mobile, AL, to Chicago, IL, our region is right in the middle of where you want to be. Along the I-10 corridor, Baldwin County has two certified EDPA AdvantageSites perfect for warehousing and distribution, and, along the I-65 corridor, sits the South Alabama Mega Site—a 3,000-acre, publically-owned mega site, strategically located to meet the needs of large-scale manufacturers. Along with highway and interstate accessibility, the South Alabama Mega Site is rail-served and sits only 32 miles from the Port of Mobile.
- Quality of Life
With the low cost-of-living in Baldwin County, our high quality of life is among the best values in the Southeast. Baldwin County offers 32 miles of white sand beaches, perfect for business and leisure. Featuring 28 championship golf courses, three local hospitals and six industrial medical clinics, it’s no surprise Baldwin County is one of the premier places in Alabama and the southeast to live and work. With Baldwin County’s EASI index (rating quality of life) at 178, compared to the U.S. average of 100, it’s hard to believe you haven’t moved here sooner.
- Construction Costs
While warehouse rents are on the rise nationally, the below average cost of living and doing business in Baldwin County results in low construction costs for new businesses. In fact, even with our high quality of life, Baldwin County sits at only 89 on the cost of living index, compared to the U.S. average of 100.
- Available Buildings
Selecting the perfect site or building tends to take up time and effort—The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance is equipped to direct you to the best space to fit your needs. With 8 Certified EDPA AdvantageSites, 3,000+ acre South Alabama Mega Site, office space, retail locations and more at your disposal, Baldwin County is equipped to provide space for your company. Check out a couple of examples of the great existing industrial and office space available, right here in Baldwin County.
- Labor Costs
If highly qualified, experienced workers are required, Baldwin County has a large supply standing ready to meet your needs, with 88 percent of residents holding a high school diploma or higher and 1 in 10 residents holding a graduate degree. Compared to most areas in the U.S., Baldwin County’s wages are well below average, adding low cost of doing business to our list of assets which includes low cost of living, high quality of life, and availability of skilled labor.
- Corporate Tax Rate
Tax rates in Alabama are competitive when compared to other states in the U.S. and southeast. Alabama is home to one of the lowest property tax rates in the U.S. and has zero inventory tax. Additionally, Alabama and Baldwin County stand ready to offer competitive incentives to companies looking to re-locate or open a new operation in Baldwin County.
- Proximity to Major Markets
Located between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, Baldwin County is right in the middle of where you want to be. With nine major highways and interstates in the county, Baldwin County opens your business up to major markets like Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Birmingham, Nashville, Tampa, Charlotte, and many more—each of which is within a half-day’s drive.
- State and Local Incentives
In addition to 32 miles of white sand beaches and a low cost of living, Baldwin County offers competitive financial incentives. For more information on incentives available in the State of Alabama and Baldwin County, see our website.
- Energy Availability and Costs
We understand how important energy availability and costs are. As energy costs become competitive with companies “going green,” Baldwin County has the necessary attributes to strongly support success and growth. Baldwin County’s utility providers offer competitive rates, and electric utilities are available at each of our 8 certified sites.