Tier II supplier announces new plant to be built in Brantley

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Brantley, known as the &uot;Front Porch&uot; community in South Crenshaw County, will be the first recipient of a &uot;Tier II&uot; supplier plant, General Industries Alabama, Inc.

The Korean-owned factory will supply &uot;Tier I&uot; factories with small stamped metal components for use in building Hyundai automobiles.

The company is the third assembly plant announcing intentions to build in Crenshaw County, behind the Shin Young Metals (SMART) plant in Luverne, which will employ 400 workers, making stamped metal body parts, and Dongwon Metals, which will employ 100 and make door frame impact beams for Hyundai.

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&uot;We are so proud to have General Industries America coming to Crenshaw County,&uot; said Doni Ingram, executive director of the Crenshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority (CCEIDA). &uot;We have been saying all along that there is a special quality about Crenshaw County workers, and it is certainly showing with yet another arrival of industry in our county.&uot;

The principle behind the &uot;Tier&uot; system in Hyundai’s assembly scheme is that Tier I factories ship directly to Hyundai Automotive’s main assembly plant in Hope Hull, while Tier II and Tier III plants supply Tier I sites with smaller component parts to complete their phases of assembly.

&uot;General Industries Alabama Inc., a Tier II plant, will occupy the 35,000 square foot building formerly occupied by American Apparel, at 134 Sasser St., Brantley, which is owned by CCEIDA,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;They will initially employ 100 workers, and have put up a capital investment of $2 million. They are going to completely renovate the building in Brantley, and work should start soon after the day of the ceremony.&uot;

Ingram said this adds one more location to what has become known as the I-65/U.S. 331 corridor (an area that occupies an isosceles triangle-shaped region from Montgomery southward), and is definitely going to help put Crenshaw County people back into the workforce, following the devastating loss several years ago suffered when the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) caused the textile industry to abandon Alabama for the Mexican border.

&uot;NAFTA really wiped this area out when all the textile industries left,&uot; Ingram said. &uot;But the people of Crenshaw County have been determined to bring a better quality of life back home. This determination to be productive is the key selling point for us when speaking with Korean automotive industry officials. They truly love the people of Crenshaw County.&uot;

Kyung Woun Lee, chairman and chief executive officer, leads General Technologies Alabama, Inc.

&uot;The announcement will be held in Brantley at the former American Apparel Building at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9,&uot; Ingram said. &uot;Everyone is invited to attend the ceremony.&uot;

CCEIDA is currently accepting applications at the John Harrison Cultural Center for anyone interested in taking the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) course in preparation for application to the automobile assembly plants. The course is being taught at night, so those attending can still maintain their present jobs while taking the free course.

Although no guarantee is made to those taking the training of employment following completion, all employees to the plants will have gone through the training course.