Manufacture Alabama honors Canfield with ‘Friend of Industry’ award

Manufacture Alabama honors Canfield with ‘Friend of Industry’ award
Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield speaks to reporters following the press briefing on the Toyota-Mazda plant announcement in January 2018. (Rob Culpepper)

Manufacture Alabama, a trade association representing companies across the state, honored Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield with its first “Friend of the Industry” award on Tuesday.

Manufacture Alabama created the award to recognize public officials, community leaders and industry representatives for outstanding work that benefits all aspects of the needs of manufacturers. The award was presented at the group’s annual legislative reception and dinner.

“Secretary Canfield’s commitment to the manufacturing industry in Alabama, and his leadership, which results in quality, good-paying jobs, embodies what this award is all about,” said George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama.

“His achievements have contributed to a countless number of Alabamians, setting the standard for future growth and economic opportunities across the state.”

Since Canfield’s appointment to lead the Alabama Department of Commerce in 2011, Alabama has attracted economic development projects totaling more than $50 billion in new private sector capital investment and 160,000-plus jobs.

A significant percentage of those projects involved the manufacturing industry.

Alabama has enjoyed major successes in various types of manufacturing but is perhaps best known for the growth of its auto industry, in which employment has increased 70% during the past decade. (Toyota)

Canfield has worked closely with many companies to establish new operations or expand their presence within the state, spurring growth in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, iron and steel, advanced materials, and pulp and paper sectors.

Canfield and his Commerce team have played an important role in the continued growth of Alabama’s auto manufacturing industry, where employment levels have risen 70% in the past decade.

He was at the center of the recruitment of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing to Alabama, along with major expansions at the state’s other automakers.

In 2021, the Southern Automotive Manufacturers Alliance inducted Canfield into its Hall of Fame for his contributions to the development of the auto industry across the region. Also last year, the Alabama Germany Partnership gave him its highest honor, the Rainer Bauer Award, for collaboration with German companies operating in the state.

“I am very honored to receive the Friend of the Industry award from Manufacture Alabama because I see every day the important role that manufacturing plays in the economic vitality of communities and families across the state,” Canfield said.

“I’m constantly impressed by the talents of our manufacturing workforce, whose accomplishments mean ‘Made in Alabama’ is a badge of quality recognized around the world, and I’m fully committed to extending the sector’s momentum.”

Manufacture Alabama is the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses.

It represents hundreds of companies – from the most-recognized international corporations to small, family-owned operations – that share common interests and face similar competitive challenges.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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