Targeted Sectors - Reading This Data


Our Laborshed:

The Etowah County labor shed within a one-hour commute includes a 16-county area surrounding Etowah County. This area contains a total population of 1,200,000.

How to Read This Data:

The company and labor data for this sector are derived from our labor shed area, as defined above.

The data points are presented several ways:

  1. The number of companies supporting a given sector in our labor shed, stated as an empirical value.
  2. A comparison of the numbers of these companies in our labor shed vs the US average, stated as a percentage.
  3. Skilled labor (SICS) supporting a given sector in our labor shed, stated as an empirical value.
  4. A comparison of the numbers of skilled laborers by skill classification in our labor shed vs the US average, stated as a percentage.
  5. Growth occupations in our labor shed over a given number of years, stated as a percentage.

This data is provided by the University of Southern Mississippi's Economic Development Research Center.

With an ideal location in the Auto Corridor, Etowah County is a perfect location for automotive processing. With at least three major multi-billion dollar car plants in the area, the Etowah region is in just the right place to host an automotive boom. With 541% more automotive manufacturers and 1,196% more iron foundries than the US national average, there are plenty of resources, support, and skilled workforce in the area to support the industry.

Automotive Companies in our Laborshed

Automotive Companies vs US Average

Skilled Labor in our Laborshed

Skilled Labor Vs US Average

Growth Occupations

Regional Automobile Manufacturers


  • Automotive engineering, manufacturing and production facility
  • $2 billion facility opened in 2001
  • Annually produces 340,000 vehicles and V-6 engines


  • Assembly and manufacturing plant for cars and automotive parts
  • Facility opened in 2015
  • One of the most advanced automotive plants in North America


  • Automotive engineering and building plants
  • Brand new $1.6 billion car plant to be built in 2019-2020
  • 4,000 new jobs


  • Produces upwards of 300,000 units annually
  • Opened 1997 and employs 3,600 people
  • Currently the sole distribution site for three vehicles sold in 135 countries worldwide


  • Produces Volkswagon parts locally to reduce import costs and constraints
  • Opened May 2011 and employs 2000 people
  • Produces 150,000 cars with plans to increase to 592,000


Gadsden State Community College

  • 5 Automotive Degree programs
  • Offers training on subjects such as collision repair, diesel mechanics and automotive manufacturing technology
  • An average of 60 students graduate annually in Automotive Sciences

Jacksonville State’s Gadsden Center

  • Applied Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Electronics Engineering

Etowah County Career Technical Center

  • All programs at the Etowah County Career Tech Center are business/industry certified by the Alabama State Department of Education or by private certifying agencies. The trade and industry programs have articulation agreements with all community colleges in Alabama, in which program completers may receive free college credit toward a degree for skills they learned in high school. Many program completers receive scholarships to colleges or technical institutes for continued training and are assisted in future job placement.
  • Programs at Etowah County Career Technical Center include Engineering Design, Electrical Technology, Electronics Technology, Automotive Technology, Precision Machining, Welding, Collision Repair, Construction Technology, Early Childhood Education, and Health Science.

Gadsden City High School Tech Center

  • $2.4 million career-tech center on the main campus of Gadsden City High School
  • Has electives for networking, engineering, and technology training
  • Automotive Service Technology courses cover automotive electronics, brakes, suspension, steering, and engine performance

Wallace State Community College

  • 4 Automotive Degree programs
  • Covers automotive service technology, collision repair and diesel mechanics
  • An average of 30 students graduate annually in Automotive Sciences

Lawson State Community College

  • 6 Automotive Degree programs
  • An average of 50 students graduate annually in Automotive Sciences