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Mayor travels to Korea, visits with Hyundai suppliers

Seeking to maximize on the Hyundai investment in Alabama, mayors of six Southeast Alabama Gas District (SEAGD) communities accompanied by several leading economic development representatives from Southeast Alabama spent several day recently in Korea visiting with Hyundai suppliers identified by Hyundai.

Approximately 13 companies of a first tier level (direct Hyundai suppliers) were contacted. A seminar was conducted with each representative and time was given for each representative to stress the advantages of their community, infrastructure, labor availability, education and proximity to Hyundai's Alabama site.

Economic development representatives also shared information on the region, and the Alabama Electric Cooperative (AEC) system was described by AEC's Montgomery office representative. Jim Smith, president and CEO of SEAGD, and Jay Jaxon, mayor of Eufaula and chairman of the board for SEAGD, led the delegation.

Comments stressing the State of Alabama's business climate, state incentives, the Alabama Development office and its involvement in the automotive industry were also shared.

A strong emphasis on the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) division and its successes with Mercedes, Honda and Toyota were covered.

Korean suppliers responded with interest in Alabama's business climate and the training availability through AIDT and local community and technical colleges.

Available labor and skills were also of interest to the Korean suppliers.

Those making the trip and representing the Southeast Alabama Gas District and its 14 member cities were Mayor Dexter McLendon of Greenville, Mayor Jay Jaxon of Eufaula, Mayor Tim Alford of Enterprise, Mayor Earl Johnson of Andalusia, Mayor Jerry Boothe of Opp, Mayor John Harrison of Luverne, City Commissioner Kenneth Boswell of Enterprise, President Matt Parker of the Dothan Chamber of Commerce, Mickey Simmons of the Coffee County Economic Development Corporation, Jarrod Massey of Elba, Louis Lockhart of the Alabama Electric Cooperative and Jim Smith, president and CEO of the Southeast Alabama Gas District.