With over 1,100 metals firms employing 50,000 people, the primary metals industry in Alabama is as strong as the rock it stands on.

Dubbed the “Pittsburgh of the South” in the late 1800s, Birmingham became a key steel production center thanks to a wealth of iron ore, coal and limestone — the three ingredients essential to manufacture steel. The industry sprang up so rapidly that Birmingham became known as “The Magic City” for its explosive growth.




$378 Million

Fabricated Metals Exported in 2014


$1.5 Billion

Primary Metal Exports in 2014




Business Climate


Primary Metals Companies


Given Alabama’s mineral-rich history, it’s no wonder that three of the nation’s largest pipe making companies got their start in the state. Primary metal manufacturing exports from Alabama were valued at $1.5 billion in 2014, and the industry provides jobs for nearly 50,000 people. Welding majors are offered at 19 two-year institutions, which have graduated over 2,000 students over the past five years.

Primary metal manufacturing is responsible for manufacturing metal alloys and super alloys, and refining ferrous and nonferrous metals from ore and scrap that make sheet, strip, bar, rod, wire and other basic metal products. Fabricated metal manufacturing gives jobs to forgers, machinists and welders. They are responsible for transforming metal into intermediate or end products. In 2014, combined primary metal and fabricated metal manufacturing exports were valued at over $1.8 billion.

Plant openings across the state have been the result of further recognition of Alabama’s metal industry potential. In 2015, AM/NS Calvert announced an $88 million investment to manufacture two new steel varieties. Energex Tube and Golden Dragon opened plants in Thomasville and Wilcox County, respectively, a $157 million total investment providing over 300 jobs.

Blair King
Blair KingSenior Project Manager
Matt McCurry
Matt McCurryManager of Business Development