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Huntsville #1 again: Moody's Economy.com says Rocket City tops for job growth prospects
City ranked first out of 378 metropolitan areas

HUNTSVILLE, AL (March 16, 2010) - The City of Huntsville, Alabama has found itself with another top spot in a prestigious international publication. As determined by Moody's Economy.com and reported by The Economist, Huntsville, Alabama has been named the #1 city in America for job-growth prospects.

The Economist pointed out the diversity of the Huntsville, Alabama economy, pointing out that the city has benefited from an aerospace and defense legacy, as well as from military base realignments. The article also mentioned Huntsville's home of the nation's second largest research park:

"In Huntsville, at the other end of the state from Mobile, is the country's second-largest research-and-technology office park, home to 285 companies, including the Hudson Alpha Institute, a genomic research complex; AEgis Technologies, responsible for the three-dimensional geospatial models of Vancouver and Beijing used in American Olympic broadcasts; and CFD Research Corporation, which pioneers military technology such as insect-mounted cameras and glucose-based batteries.

The park sprawls across a few thousand acres that were once cotton fields; indeed, cotton still grows on undeveloped land across from Hudson Alpha. But Huntsville stopped being cotton country in 1950, when Wernher von Braun, a German physicist and engineer, came to Redstone Arsenal, an army base, with his team to jump-start America's missile and rocket programmes. Today Huntsville boasts 57 foreign companies from 15 countries, and Redstone houses the army's missile, missile defence and aviation programmes. Eat your heart out, Birmingham."

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said his community's continued success is built on a diverse foundation.

"Our economic engine is more diverse than any point in time in our city's history. We've got an incredible coalition of biotech firms, defense contractors, health care providers, IT companies and government jobs that continue to provide us with a strong outlook."

Mayor Battle added "Our community has more engineers, per capita, than any other community in the nation. We've got the third highest concentration of ITS workers, an incredibly educated workforce, a strong Chamber of Commerce that supports continued and sustained business growth in our community and a second to none quality of life." "These accolades aren't given - they are earned, and our community has done an incredible job in that regard."

The article listed several contributing factors to Huntsville's latest top ranking, including: economic development, workforce training and low property taxes and utility rates.

The city was also named as "America's Best City" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2009.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The article may be found by clicking this LINK.


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