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More jobs headed to county

Jimmy Lester called it the 'domino effect' and Crenshaw County continues to benefit from Hyundai's decision to locate its first US production facility near Montgomery.

On Tuesday a short ceremony was held at the John D. Harrison Cultural Center in Luverne to announce the arrival of a new Tier 2 supplier to the area. Chowel Weldparts, Inc. will locate on Highway 331 north, just south of the county landfill and supply the SMART Plant, the county's first Tier 1 facility, with manufactured tips for that plant's welding robots.

The plant will eventually employ between 20 to 30 people, said Lester, board president for the Crenshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority.

Chowel Weldparts, Inc. is a company jointly owned by both Japanese and Koreans.

The CCEIDA also announced another

supplier for Hyundai, Sun Construction and Welding Company, would be arriving in Crenshaw County when a facility is found for their use. This facility would employ up to 10 people.

Additionally, Dongwon, the Tier 1 facility in Sardis, recently announced plans for a 10,000 square-foot expansion that would increase its number of employees to 190 by Nov. 2005, said Lester.

Probate Judge Jim Perdue was on hand for the ceremony and said he's glad to see the county starting to gain back some of the employment lost when the area's textile factories ceased operation.

"We're not ahead right now, but we're back to where we used to be," said Perdue.

Doni Ingram, executive director for the CCEIDA, said Tuesday's announcement by Chowel Weldparts represents another 'significant investment' by a foreign company into the future of Crenshaw County.

Chowel Weldparts is the fifth Hyundai supplier to locate in Crenshaw County.

Youg Choi, President of American Chowell, and Mikio Kusano, President of Weldparts, attended and were introduced at the ceremony.