Troy, Pike County hopefully on short list

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2002

Tuesday’s ground-breaking ceremony in Hope Hull, although mired in politics, heralds good news for Alabama.

It marked the promise of a $1 billion investment in our state, thousands of jobs, and untold potential for the future.

In a state now being described by many as the "Detroit of the South," the opportunity to be home to Hyundai’s first American manufacturing plant is a testament to the potential of this state and its workforce. Hyundai chairman Mong Koo Chung described Alabama as having "ideal conditions for the growth of the automotive industry."

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And certainly, with the existing Mercedes Benz and Toyota manufacturing facilities in our state, the addition of this Hyundai plant secures our place as the growing state of choice for automotive manufacturers.

With the promise of 2,000 jobs less than 45 minutes away in Hope Hull, the Hyundai plant brings more than just good news to Troy, as well.

We hope that it will bring the opportunity to spin-off businesses, the suppliers and vendors who produce the parts that Hyundai will need for its assembly plant.

We hope it will bring facilities to replace the jobs we’re losing with the close of Hudson Industries and Ansell Corporation; and we hope it will bring an opportunity for our existing businesses – from plastics manufacturers to electronics manufacturers – to capitalize on that opportunity at hand.

Of course, we are not alone in that hope. Many communities – from Selma to Greenville to Clanton – are posturing for the opportunity to host vendors and suppliers. The governor has even gone so far as to indicate that Selma

– with the potential for additional federal incentives and its $1 million contribution to the incentive package – is a likely candidate for an employee training facility and for spin-off industries. But Selma isn’t the only site for opportunity.

We hope Troy and Pike County will be on that short list, as well. Because we believe our community has the capable and willing workforce, the cooperative leadership and the quality of life that would appeal to any manufacturer.

And we believe the opportunity that lies ahead for Alabama, and Hyundai, is big enough for many to share.  

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