Special to the Opelika Observer

The 2017 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index recently named the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area No. 10 in the Best Performing Cities Annual Index.

The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth.

 “Our area has sustained growth for many years now. This is obvious in our economic growth and success. Opelika is able to attract major industries, as well as take care of our medium to small businesses, because of our education and workforce development, unparalleled school systems, our affordable cost of living and the exceptional quality of life we offer businesses and citizens alike,” said Mayor Gary Fuller.

 According to the Milken study, the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area has been in the top 10 since 2014, which is reflected in the five-year job and high-tech GDP growth. The area has a large manufacturing base. In FY 2017, Opelika announced the creation of 194 new industrial jobs with an additional investment of $129 million.

 “The job creation and investment for 2017 came from expansions of existing industries like West Fraser, Hanwha, Pharmavite, Cumberland Plastics and Red Clay Brewing Company as well as a new distribution company, Aerocosta, choosing to locate in Opelika,” said Opelika Economic Development Director Lori Huguley.

 For a copy of the full report, please visit http://www.best-cities.org/. To learn more about Opelika, visit www.opelika-al.gov.