The Shoals is committed to economic growth, which for many years has been based on manufacturing. However, local elected officials and community leaders are pro-business and have supported not only the recruitment of new industry and the retention and expansion of existing companies, but they have also worked to grow the service and hospitality sectors.
Working as a region has enhanced The Shoals’ economic picture as evidenced by a number of major projects that have selected The Shoals in recent years:
North American Lighting
In December 2005, North American Lighting, Inc. (NAL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, announced that it would invest approximately $22 million to build a facility in the new Shoals Research Airpark, located adjacent to the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals.
The facility has expanded twice since it began operations in June 2007 and now employs in excess of 1,300 people.
NAL is a leading manufacturer of automotive exterior lighting, supplying the world’s most advanced automotive lighting products to virtually every automobile manufacturer in the United States.
Walgreen's Customer Care Center
In August 2004, Walgreen’s Customer Care Center chose the City of Muscle Shoals as the home of its technologically-advanced customer service center, due in part to the availability of a customer-oriented workforce.
Walgreens Customer Care Center began operations in October 2004 with 30 employees. As of September 2015, employment stood at 306.
In the last quarter of 2002, the Swedish company, SCA (Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget), chose the Barton Riverfront Industrial Park as the location for its 1.3-million-square-foot converting, papermaking, and distribution plant.
The company invested $240 million initially, followed by a $150 million expansion to the Barton facility in 2008, which added 30 new jobs and an additional production capacity of 70,000 tons per year. Approximately 500 employees work at the tissue plant.
RSA ProjectThe construction of a 36-hole Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail @ The Shoals golf complex on the Tennessee River and the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa provided the perfect complement to Florence’s existing conference center.
The first of the 18-hole golf courses, Fighting Joe, opened in August 2004; and, the second course, The Schoolmaster, opened in June 2005. The 200-room Marriott Shoals Hotel had its grand opening in June 2005.
The University of North Alabama’s economic impact study of the golf course and hotel project indicated an economic impact of $181 million and 400 jobs.
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