Kiplinger’s publisher lauds Huntsville’ creativity and competitiveness

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Knight Kiplinger said Huntsville is uniquely positioned to take advantage of some of the new technology trends in America today, and Huntsville’s comparative advantages in cost of living and doing business should spell a bright future for the city.

In remarks to the Annual Meeting of the Huntsville-Madison Chamber, Kiplinger, Editor in Chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, praised the Rocket City and surrounding area, calling it “one of the strongest mid-sized cities in the U.S.”

Kiplinger, a noted economic commentator, said Huntsville has made considerable progress in diversifying its economy from a dependence on federal spending. He cited local initiatives in biotechnology, cyber security and energy as further evidence of Huntsville’s ability to “reinvent itself” over its 200 year history.

“This has long been a hotbed of technological creativity,” he said.

He said Huntsville enjoys a roughly 10% cost advantage to most of the U.S. in terms of business costs, and 20-25% when compared to other technology centers such as Silicon Valley, Austin, or the Washington area.

In July 2009 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked Huntsville at the top of its list of 10 top U.S. Cities, ranking it ahead of Austin, Texas; Charlottesville, Virginia; Madison, Wisconsin; and Raleigh, North Carolina for job growth potential, technology creation, and quality of life. In August 2010 it named Huntsville one of the country’s top 10 cities for Raising Families.

He cited the arts and outdoor recreational opportunities as other positive factors. “There is a real vitality about Huntsville that will continue to make it attractive,” he told the Chamber audience. “The stars are well aligned for Huntsville.”

Although he admitted this was his first visit to the Rocket City, Kiplinger said he has long known of Huntsville’s reputation as a high tech center from visits father had made to this areas decades ago.

On one of those visits, his father had been given a two-foot tall replica of the Jupiter-C rocket, used to launch America’s first satellite into space. “As my kids grew up, I explained the significance of the rocket in our nation’s history,” he said.

He also related a time when Wernher Von Braun offered his father a ride back to Washington. “He allowed by father, a former Navy pilot, to take the controls,” Kiplinger recalled. “That’s how Huntsville crept into my consciousness.”

Kiplinger has made the most of his time here, taking in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Cummings Research Park, and Redstone Arsenal before leaving Thursday to return to Kiplinger’s Washington headquarters.

Kiplinger’s publisher lauds Huntsville’ creativity and competitiveness

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