Expansion could create local jobs

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley called Monday a great day for the state of Alabama.

We’d have to agree.

But we’d take it a step farther.

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We believe Monday was a great day not only the state of Alabama but for Butler County as well.

On Monday, Hyundai announced its plans to expand its Alabama manufacturing plant in a move that is expected to add more than 210 jobs in Montgomery County.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama said Monday it will invest $173 million to enlarge and modify an engine plant at the complex.

The company says it will create an additional 214 jobs with the work.

In this day and time that number is nothing to sneeze at.

Although the jobs are being created in Montgomery County, it’s still good news for Butler County, which is already home to a pair of Hyundai Tier-I suppliers in Hwashin and Hysco.

With the Montgomery County plant being just a short drive up Interstate 65 from Greenville, residents of Butler County will have as good a shot as anyone at the new jobs.

But as Ricky McLaney, with the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, and Mayor Dexter McLendon pointed out in interviews, more than 214 jobs may be created by the expansion.

“You have to read into it a little, but building more engines will mean the plant will be able to build more cars,” McLaney said. “More cars hopefully will mean more need for supplies from Hysco and Hwashin, which in turn could mean more jobs for workers in Butler County.”

The total economic impact of the expansion is yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain —  even the possibility of  new jobs certainly welcomed news in today’s economy where jobs are already scarce and headlines of company cutbacks are all too common.