REF to expand

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2014

REF Alabama Inc. announced Monday that it will expand its operations in Greenville.

The manufacturing company, which makes electrical connectors and other metal parts, is adding 30 more jobs and buying the building located right across from company headquarters on Industrial Parkway.

The announcement was made in the Wendell Mitchell Center at LBWCC.

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“It’s an exciting day for Greenville and Butler County,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said.

McLendon said the addition took several months of work to come about.

REF owner Paul Flubacher said his company hasn’t bought the building yet, but will be finalizing the purchase in the middle of December. He said the building, once owned by the City of Greenville, costs $270,000.

“We’re going to be investing in equipment and remediation,” Flubacher said. “The building has a lot of work to do on it.”

In total, the investment that REF is putting into the building is somewhere in the neighborhood of $750,000.

Flubacher said the expansion came as a result of his company’s increase in output on parts.

“I’d like to thank the Alabama Revenue Department for helping me, and of course the Mayor,” he said. “We hope to grow significantly in the next couple of years. This is going to be a learning curve for us. We appreciate the support.”

Other than McLendon and Flubacher, other county dignitaries spoke at the economic announcement event — Butler County Commission Chairman Allin Whittle and Butler County Commission for Economic Development Chairman Rod Cater — in support of REF’s expansion.

Whittle said with the addition of 30 jobs to climb REF’s employee number to 68, the local economy will get a boost.

“The Butler County Commission commends Mr. Flubacher,” Whittle said.

Cater equated REF’s work within the county as being a rock hitting a pond.

“To me, this announcement is a lot like a ripple effect,” Cater said. “You’ve all seen a picture of a rock being thrown into a pond. That rock makes an initial splash. What happens right after that initial splash? The water begins to ripple. It goes from that splash point and makes its way out all the way across the entire pond, and goes out to the outer banks of that pond.

“In this case, REF is that rock,” he said. “Greenville is the splash point. Then, it may not be right away, but surely as I stand here, there’s going to be a ripple effect throughout Butler County.”

This new economic development wouldn’t have been possible if the city and county didn’t come together on this, McLendon said.

“The one big key in all of this is the city of Greenville and Butler County working together,” he said. “It’s all about working together.”