“This ranking demonstrates the positive impact of Ozark and Dale County’s commitment to economic development partnerships for locating, retaining and expanding business and industry with quality high paying jobs,” Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell said.
Economic strength rankings are released every year by Policom Corporation of Palm City, FL. Policom is an independent economic research firm that specializes in analyzing local and state economies. The Ozark micropolitan area is ranked 72nd of 536 micropolitan statistical areas in the nation and is the only Alabama micropolitan area ranked in the nation’s top 100. The Enterprise micropolitan area ranked second in the state, followed by the Troy area in third. Other Alabama micropolitan areas featured in the study include Albertville, Cullman, Selma, Scottsboro, Talladega-Sylacauga, and Valley.
“The study demonstrates the stability of the Ozark micropolitan. Since 2008, we’ve consistently maintained a spot in the top 100 among micropolitans across the nation,” said Veronica Crock, Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director.
Rankings are based on 23 economic factors over a 20 year period from 1994-2013. Factors measured include wages, personal income, employment statistics, construction revenue, retail revenue, and consistency of growth or decline. Overall state of the economy is based on the standard of living of citizens that work and live in the area.
“I believe this ranking is an example of the progress we can make by working together in our Ozark-Dale County economic development group as well as working with the entire Wiregrass region,” said Dale County Commission Chairperson Mark Blankenship. “I am extremely proud of the progress we are making in Dale County.”
For a micropolitan to be considered in a study, the area must have a city with a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000. Dale County cities and towns that comprise the Ozark micropolitan include Ariton, Clayhatchee, Daleville, Grimes, Level Plains, Midland City, Napier Field, Newton, Ozark, and Pinckard.
“We’ve experienced excellent regional success and expect this success to continue,” Crock said. “We’ll continue working with existing businesses in expansion and retention efforts while working to bring new opportunities.”
The Policom Corporation created the economic strength rankings to study the characteristics of both strong and weak economies. The highest ranked areas have rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time.
“The potential is there for continued growth economically,” Daleville Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth said. “The rankings show that we have opportunities and we want to obviously continue to remain in the top of both of those lists.”
About the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation