Camellia City no longer a pit stop#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2003

It would probably be an understatement of epic proportions to say that Wednesday's announcement that Hwashin America Corporation is coming to Greenville is big. Better stated, it is probably the biggest thing to happen to the city since Interstate 65 was cut through the heart of Butler County.

For many years the only claim to fame for Greenville was the venerable Bate's House of Turkey. Serving up country food to weary travelers on the way to someplace else but here; Greenville was merely a pit stop. But not anymore.

As Greenville grew the industrial climate was, in a sense, a &uot;one horse town.&uot; And while there were jobs at places such as Allied or Rheem, residents learned what could happen when the lack of industrial diversification was not a reality. Just ask the many Americans who saw their jobs in the garment industry evaporate in the blink of an eye, over the signing of a trade &uot;agreement&uot; as it were.

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I tend to take the &uot;glass half full&uot; approach though when I look back on what happened when those jobs left, taking many resident's hopes and dreams with them. While certainly difficult to live through, it forced us to search out industry wherever we could find it. And find it we did.

Today Greenville and Butler County is no longer dependent on one industry or industrial theme. While the industrial climate in America is shaky, given the current global crises and corporate irresponsibility, people can look around and truly see industrial diversification in Greenville and Butler County.

West Point Stevens, CorStone, Image Entry and Breed are just examples of what must be done from a recruitment standpoint to insure the viability of our community, our schools, our churches and our home grown businesses.

Some might say that last April's announcement that Hyundai would locate just up the road from Greenville was just a lucky break for us, but I disagree. There's an old saying that the harder you work, the luckier you get, and Wednesday's announcement certainly wasn't the product of being lucky. It was sheer determination and a never give up attitude' that culminated in what Governor Bob Riley described Wednesday as a pep rally.' And while there were many dignitaries on the stage Wednesday that played a key role in the announcement, I wish there would have been one empty chair on that stage that represented everyone in Butler County. It's because of all of you that we're now becoming a destination rather than a pit stop on the way to somewhere else.