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Birmingham has more advanced materials & machinery.

The Greater Birmingham Region was built on steel because of the area’s abundant iron ore, coal and limestone resources, a unique natural trifecta found in few places globally. This led to rapid growth, earning the region its nickname, “The Magic City.”

Today, Birmingham hosts a thriving industrial supply chain landscape with nearly 200 advanced materials and manufacturing firms, encompassing major sectors like metals, chemicals, plastics, composites, aggregates, mining and machinery. Reflecting the region’s strong emphasis on skilled labor, JobsEQ data reveals that over the past five years, more than 650 welding degrees have been awarded. Furthermore, this commitment to industrial excellence is echoed across the state, with Alabama holding the distinction of having the highest concentration of primary metals manufacturing in the Southeast.

The region employs 16,000 advanced materials and manufacturing workers, five times the average number of primary metal jobs in U.S. metropolitan areas.

$380+ Million
in Exports
As Many Primary Metal Jobs As the Average U.S. Metro
$380+ Million
in Exports
$1 Billion
in Capital Investments Over the Past Five Years

Advanced Materials & Machinery Employers

Workforce Development

Over the past five years, Alabama has seen a significant uptick in the number of degrees awarded in fields related to advanced materials and machinery, totaling nearly 3,500. In response to this growing trend, Jefferson State Community College has launched a strategic initiative by inaugurating a new 5,000-square-foot welding center. This facility is designed to cater to the increasing demand for skilled welders within the region.

Moreover, the educational landscape in Alabama is further strengthened by both two and four-year programs at institutions like the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Auburn University. UAB’s Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center is a notable example, training over 75 students annually in lightweight materials and manufacturing technologies. In addition, Auburn University’s newly established Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, which opened its doors in 2023, represents a state-of-the-art machining center. This center emphasizes the application of technology in manufacturing environments and focuses on manufacturing and machining workforce training. It also aims at developing a pipeline for training new and existing employees.

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