Spotlight: Mobile County

Mobile County is vibrant, with strong investments in education, entertainment venues and community developments

Downtown Mobile.

Mobile County is older than Alabama. It celebrated its tricentennial in 2002, marking its founding by the French as the first capital of Louisiana in 1702. For its first 100 years, it was a colony of France, then Great Britian and finally Spain. It became part of the United States in 1813. And with age comes experience. The southwestern county embraces its past with sights on the future.

Stable industries are as vibrant today as when established decades earlier. Yet cutting edge opportunities reach for the sky — literally.

“Aerospace is the fastest growing sector in Mobile County,” says David Rodgers, vice president of economic development with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. “Mobile is poised to be one of the top aerospace manufacturers in the world.”

Large aerospace employers in the region include international aircraft maker Airbus, AAA United States Inc., Aerostar, Continental Aerospace Technologies, MAAS Aviation, REEL USA Corp., and ST Aerospace (VT MAE). Nearby in Baldwin County, are more aerospace firms: Collins Aerospace and Segers Aero Corp.

By contrast, the county that’s embracing a bold new frontier of aviation and beyond remains steadfast in supporting its maritime industry. Shipping was Mobile’s first industry 300 years ago and remains an economic blowtorch today. Established in 1928, the Port of Mobile annually contributes $85 billion into Alabama’s economy and generates almost 313,000 jobs.

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In addition, nearly 15% of Mobile’s workforce is employed in the health care industry. Mobile County’s hospitals include the state’s largest health care system of its kind, Infirmary Health. Medical facilities, such as USA Health, are making inroads in cancer research and other medical studies.

A strong investment in education pays academic dividends. Mobile County’s universities, college and career schools produce physicians, teachers, engineers, architects, skilled professionals in white- and blue-collar careers, and more. Innovative new programs are receiving national acclaim.

For example: The University of South Alabama’s College of Nursing is among the largest in the nation; Spring Hill College is ranked the Best University for a bachelor’s degree on the Gulf Coast; and the University of Mobile is listed by U.S. News & World Report among the best value regional universities in the South, best regional universities in the South and best regional universities in the South for veterans.

USS Alabama.

Mobile County’s hub is its namesake, the 321-year-old City of Mobile. Alabama’s fourth-largest city plays a crucial role in the area’s culture and economy.

However, other county municipalities are emerging.


With 16,000 residents, Saraland lives up to its motto, “Gateway to Progress.” A $54 million dollar Sportsplex is set for spring of 2025. In addition, new subdivisions, retail, restaurants and a state-of-the-art medical campus all contribute to Mobile County’s third largest city.

But Saraland’s driving force is its award-winning school system. Pre-K to 12 grades excel academically and athletically.


Also in North Mobile County, Chickasaw City Schools created the first career technical training virtual school of its kind in the nation in its accredited online Alabama Destinations Career Academy.


The city of Satsuma’s School System has created a robust Career and Technology program. Satsuma also has been ranked as one of the safest cities in Alabama.

Dauphin Island

Other municipalities on the move include Dauphin Island. By 2024, the island town will open a $1.5 million, 13,000-square-foot community center, with two large meeting rooms.

Mobile County’s recreation and cultural attractions range from fine arts to wading on sugar-white beaches. New venues coming soon include the Africatown Heritage House. Set to open in the summer of 2023, the house will be the first of many ways tourists and visitors can directly engage with Africatown’s history.

Emmett Burnett is a Satsuma-based freelance contributor to Business Alabama.

For more on Mobile County, see the links below:

Economic Engines

In Focus

Health Care

Higher Education

Movers & Shapers

Community Development

Culture & Recreation

This story appears in the June 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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