Civil Engineers Helping Impact the Economy

The JeffMet industrial parks that Sain Associates has been involved in developing since 1997 have recently been said to be responsible for $790 million in economic output for Jefferson County.

This type of result is why I enjoy the Industrial Economic Development field so much. I’ve been the engineer of record for 15-20 industrial parks throughout North and Central Alabama, ranging in acreage from 50 to 2000 acres. Many times I’ve seen the great success and impact on the community.

For JeffMet, the newly formed Industrial Development Authority of Jefferson County hired Sain Associates to do the initial master plan and due diligence seventeen years ago. We designed all of the infrastructure, roads and some of the utilities in the park. Since that initial phase, we’ve worked with over half of the industries in the park, providing surveying and civil engineering services.

With Industrial Economic Development projects like these, I think civil engineers are an important part of a very large team. We provide technical assistance, due diligence and advise clients on the suitability of properties for development, often before the property has even been purchased.

Many times as a civil engineer, I’m invited to sit at the table when prospects come in.  One of the things I really like about this business is that it’s very fast-paced.

The Department of Commerce, which is a state agency, gets many opportunities from various industries coming into Alabama, including international prospects.  The Department asks local communities around the state to respond with their interest for particular projects. In these cases, we are often brought in to provide our expertise and knowledge of the properties in response to these opportunities for industrial projects. We usually only have a day or two to assemble the information, so it’s important that we be extremely responsive to these requests.

We work very closely with economic development officials, cities, counties, industrial development boards, other engineers, contractors, architects, state agencies, local elected officials, utility companies and more.

We love being a part of this team, and I personally have been involved in the Industrial Economic Development market for about 20 years. I lead this practice area at Sain Associates and am proud that we have been considered one of the top three civil engineering firms in the state for the Industrial Economic Development industry. Our goal is to continue providing quality services in this area and to learn new ways that we can help make an even greater positive economic impact on our community.

Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states. 

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