Cullman has again gained the ranking of the nation’s third best micropolitan after an evaluation by Site Selection Magazine.

Site Selection is is published by Atlanta-based Conway Date Inc. and delivers expansion planning information to 49,000 executives of growing business firms.

Cullman was the only city in the South to make the top three. Site Selection examines more than 500 cities in the United States with a population of 10,000 to 50,000.

The ranking is based on the number of qualified facilities that were announced in the 2014 calendar year. In order for a facility to quality they have to meet one of these criteria:

‰ Involves a minimum of a $1million capital investment.

‰ create 50 jobs.

‰ 20,000 square feet of new space constructed.

The guidelines established in the rankings to do not include retail development.

Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Peggy Smith said Cullman County industries in 2014 invested approximately $150 million in the community, all while creating as many as 700 jobs.

“One of our key rules we live by in this office is existing industry comes first. The relationship doesn’t end when they open,” Smith said. “We are a business-friendly community in the city and county. We have all recognize the value and partnerships of the industries that have come to our area.”

She also noted the city has long been committed to maintaining a strong economic development team to bring industry to the area, and to nourish those relationships for the future.

“We have a total commitment to our industrial community. Once they are here we are still working with them to ensure they have the means to continue growing and being part of our community,” Smith said.

Dale Greer, assistant director of Cullman EDA, also noted the workforce’s abilities to adapt to the changing industrial needs has been solid and enabled recruitment and expansion for industries.

“It’s a compliment to your workforce when an industry stays and expands. Whatever we tell them we’re going to do, we do,” Greer said.

Two communities in Ohio ranked ahead of Cullman in the micropolitan ratings. Last year, Tupleo, Miss., ranked ahead of Cullman.

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David Palmer has decades of experience in the newspaper industry. He currently serves as editor of The Cullman Times.

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