North Alabama is home to more than 80 international companies. Collectively these companies represent 18 different countries. The people and business culture of North Alabama are very supportive of international investment. In fact, Toyota Manufacturing and others have become an integral part of the region's leadership structure. North Alabama’s economic boom actually began because of an international presence. The German rocket scientists who arrived here after World War II set the stage for North Alabama’s Aerospace and Defense Industry as we know it today.
31 companies in North Alabama are based in Japan. The North Alabama Industrial Development Association has long worked to grow the Japan – North Alabama connection. The North Alabama Industrial Development Association is a member of the Southeast US/ Japan Association as well as the Japan-American Society of Alabama. With so many Japanese companies in North Alabama there is also a Japanese Saturday School, the Huntsville Japanese Supplementary School (Huntsville Nihongo Hoshuko.)
The North Alabama Industrial Development Association is also a member of the Alabama – Germany Partnership. This organization helps to support and further opportunities for German companies in Alabama. There are 9 German based companies currently located in North Alabama.
To assist Canadian companies considering locating here, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association has a representative based in Canada through a contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority.