Emerging Industries

Limestone County, Alabama is situated at the crossroads of technology and innovation. A highly-educated workforce and attractive business incentives fuel industry growth in multiple sectors, including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, automotive, biotechnology and robotics.

The statewide Accelerate Alabama Plan, established by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, prioritizes business incentives and workforce development for each of these industries.

Information about incentives, workforce training, available sites and buildings, and other statistics is available through the Limestone County Economic Development Association by calling 256-232-2386.


Limestone County’s close proximity to Redstone Arsenal, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Cummings Research Park (the 2nd largest technology park in the U.S.), puts it near the heart of aerospace and defense development. Aerospace industry sectors in our region include:

  • Aircraft Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO)
  • Aircraft Parts Manufacturing & MRO
  • Guided Missile & Space Vehicle & Parts Manufacturing
  • Information Technology Services
  • General Manufacturing
  • Engineering & R&D Services

Key partners to the Aerospace Industry in our region include:

Advanced Manufacturing

Limestone County is equipped to provide essential workforce and technology resources to position manufacturing companies to compete in the global market. Proximity to Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park gives businesses the ability to recruit a highly-skilled workforce, including a high number of engineers. Free workforce development programs regarding emerging trends and technology in the manufacturing industry are offered.

Available Workforce

The graduates of Calhoun Community College, Athens State University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and other area post-secondary schools provide advanced technology and technical training. Additionally, early technical education courses are offered through Limestone County Career Tech and other secondary school programs.


The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is a Public Research and Space Grant University offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various engineering fields. The university has strong relationships with NASA, the U.S. army, and private industries within North Alabama.

Visit the UAH website.


Limestone County, Alabama is centrally located between many of the Southeast’s major automotive manufacturers. The county features a certified automotive megasite, as well as available land and buildings suitable for automotive manufacturing use.

Available Workforce

Athens and Limestone County offer access to workers with specialized experience within automotive manufacturing. Calhoun Community College offers training programs in Structures & Assembly/Welding, Automation/Robotics, Design Drafting, Electronics, Machine Tool Technology (CNC & Manual) and Process Technology. Local and statewide workforce development programs are frequently offered at no cost to the employer and are tailored to the specific needs of automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Additionally, Alabama’s automotive manufacturing companies typically have a low union presence.

Tax Incentives / Business Assistance

Alabama offers highly competitive tax incentives and business assistance programs for automotive manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to state tax incentives, local incentives are also available for qualify companies and projects.

Sites & Buildings

Limestone County offers an automotive megasite as well as six fully-serviced industrial parks and buildings ranging from 15,000 square feet to over 60,000 square feet. The industrial parks, sites and buildings are located in close proximity to Interstate-65, Interstate-565 and other major shipping routes. View our Available Property Directory.

Nearby Automotive Manufacturers

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (Huntsville, AL) 24
Navistar (Huntsville, AL) 21
GM / Saturn (Spring Hill, TN) 75
Nissan Logistics Corporation (Smyrna, TN) 105
Nissan North America (Nashville, TN) 105
Mercedes-Benz (Vance, AL) 128
Honda (Lincoln, AL) 134
Toyota Motor Manufacturing (Blue Springs, MS) 146
Volkswagen (Chattanooga, TN) 148
Hyundai (Montgomery, AL) 190
Kia (West Point, GA) 265
Nissan Assembly Plant (Canton, MS) 329
ThyssenKrupp (Mobile, AL) 348


Limestone County offers access to a thriving biotechnology community. Over 90 biotechnology-related companies are located in Alabama, including 12 in North Alabama. The region boasts multiple associations, technology incubators and investment firms that are firmly committed to growing the biotechnology industry in North Alabama.

Education & Training

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) offers a Ph.D. degree program in Biotechnology Science and Engineering. The degree program is focused on structural biology, bimolecular sciences and bioprocess engineering. The University also offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in biological sciences, chemistry, and chemical and materials engineering.

    Visit the UAH Biological Sciences Department website.

  • HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Research
    The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Research is a magnet for biotechnology industry leaders. It is located within close proximity to Limestone County and is home to multiple for-profit biotechnology companies and non-profit researchers. HudsonAlpha provides both on-site and distance learning opportunities for high school students in Alabama and continuing education opportunities for educators.

    Visit the HudsonAlpha Institute website.

Business Assistance / Associations

There are many associations, investment firms and resource organizations driving the development of a robust biotechnology community in North Alabama.


Limestone County is a major player in the robotics industry on the state and the national level. A state-of-the-art robotics training center offers prime workforce development resources. The county also offers close proximity to defense and research companies across North Alabama and in Cummings Research Park.

Alabama Robotics Technology Park

The Robotics Technology Park is a $73 million collaboration between the state of Alabama, Calhoun Community College, AIDT and robotics industry leaders. The Park’s goals include training programs focused on company-specific needs, skill-specific training at all career levels and advanced systems integration opportunities.

The campus features three training facilities, each with a unique focus:

  • Robotic Maintenance Training Center
    A 60,000 square foot facility providing no-cost training to Alabama industries and their affiliates.
  • Advanced Technology Research & Development Center
    Four - 6,000 square foot client suites are available at no cost for research & development projects (the cost of utilities are billed on consumption basis).
  • Integration, Entrepreneurial & Paint/Dispense Training Center
    This center is in the pre-construction phase. Upon completion, it will allow companies to build and adapt automation for new and existing manufacturing processes.

NASA and the U.S. Army Missile Command also use the Robotics Technology Park. Visit the Robotics Technology Park website for more information.

Limestone County Economic Development Association
101 S. Beaty Street   |   Athens, AL 35611   |   Phone: 256-232-2386   |   View all contact information