With the announcement of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters headed to Huntsville, it may be time to consider Northern Alabama for your next home. In addition to an estimated 1600 jobs that will follow with the assignment of the U.S. Space Command to Redstone Arsenal, numerous other commands abound in Madison County.

It appears the secret is out. Residents know Huntsville is one of the best locations in Alabama for living and working. In addition to being the technology center, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Army’s Materiel Command and Aviation and Missile Command, Defense Intelligence Agency, DoD Missile Defense Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are located on Redstone Arsenal. With the addition of U.S. Space Command, Redstone will provide nearly 50,000 jobs and $30 billion in annual economic impact by 2025 to the local community. Therefore, if you are a contractor or civil servant, you should find Redstone Arsenal to be a lucrative environment for job hunting.

Military Transition Hotspot

If you are transitioning out of the military and desire employment outside the federal sector, there is no shortage of jobs to be filled in the Huntsville, now and in the future. A tremendous number of jobs are moving into Huntsville and the adjacent counties of Limestone and Jackson.

By way of example, Toyota is building a large, shared plant with Mazda in Limestone county. The plant expects to bring 450 jobs to the local area, and is scheduled to open this year. YKT will provide 650 jobs to the local economy and become the major supplier of parts to the new Toyota Mazda manufacturing plant. Vuteq from Japan, providing glass products, plastics, and metal molding to the auto industry is completing a new plant in Limestone county, and planning to hire 200 workers. Blue Origin is building a rocket engine plant at Cummings Research Park. Both Facebook and Google are building data centers in Huntsville and the adjacent Jackson County, Alabama, each bringing 100 technology jobs with them.

The Appeal of Huntsville

But why is Huntsville attractive to the government and business alike? First, they have a significant transportation network in and out of the city with connective interstates, rail, rivers, and airport. Land is relatively inexpensive. But most importantly is the area’s willing and able labor force. Why is there such a great labor forced and influx of technical workers? The area is appealing.

Residents will tell you they love the area. There is plenty to do and places to go if you are married or single.  But make no mistake, the Huntsville area is known for being family oriented. The cost-of-living is slightly less than the national average, with housings being almost 10% less. Great shopping abounds, found at Bridge Street and Parkway Mall. There are plenty of great restaurants and breweries. Numerous recreation areas like Monte Sano, Joe Wheeler, and Cathedral Caverns State Park are just a few minutes drive. You will find the nearby mountains are exceptional for hiking and walking, with the Tennessee River and Lake Guntersville State Park offering tremendous opportunity for boating.

Multiple entertainment complexes, featuring attractive movie theaters, and a high-tech driving range can be found around the city. The Courthouse Square offers great dining and gathering locations, with the adjacent Von Braun Center hosting numerous concerts, sporting events and conventions each year. The nearby Huntsville Museum of Art is a great place to see traveling exhibits. Across town you will find the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, which is a fantastic museum for young and old alike. A brand-new Double A baseball team, the Rockets City Trash Pandas will play home games at Toyota Field opening later this year.

With expanding employment opportunities and a high quality of life, maybe you should take a closer look at Huntsville for employment and your next home.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.