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Southron

River Region Economic Development

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In 2006 the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce hired Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based national economic and workforce development consulting firm, to facilitate the creation of an economic development strategy and accompanying implementation plan for the metro area.

The economic development strategy document is available on a website created for the effort, www.imagineagreatermontgomery.com, along with an implementation plan for the first year. Both documents are in .pdf format.

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Expansion Management magazine ranked Montgomery No. 9 nationally among small metro areas in recruitment and attraction of new and expanding businesses. Three other Alabama metros were ranked, including Auburn-Opelika at No. 3, Gadsden at No. 11 and Anniston at No. 15. The magazine measured the number of companies, not the number of jobs, for its rankings, in order to illustrate balance in the local economy.

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery lands in top 10

The continuing impact of the Hyundai plant is making a difference for the River Region economy.

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Dredging will begin next month on the Alabama River and economic developers think shipping can hit the 1 million tons per year required to keep federal river maintainence funding. The river was last dredged in 2005, just before Hurricane Dennis hit and created sandbars in the river. A 9-foot-deep by 100-foot-wide channel must be maintained to keep the river passable for barges.

Federal money allocated for dredging the Alabama started to decrease in the 1980s when barge traffic slowed (largely due to the decline of Black Belt agriculture), but barge traffic is now picking up with new or expanding businesses using the river for transportation. For example, New Gas Concepts is building a $100 million facility on the river near Selma to produce pellets from wood waste that will be shipped to Scandinavia for use as fuel in power-generating plants.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Army Corps of Engineers began flood control and navigation projects on the river, including three lock-and-dam operations.

Montgomery Advertiser: Industries welcome dredging of Alabama River

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MOBIS Alabama, a Hyundai parts supplier, will begin a $55 million expansion in September that will add 140 employees to the 875 currently employed at their Montgomery plant. The plant is expanding to provide parts for the new Kia plant.

Montgomery Advertiser: MOBIS' $55.6M project to add 140

MOBIS_AL.jpg

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Montgomery's Hyundai plant, the city's largest employer, may add a third model to its production line. The plant can make 300,000 vehicles per year, but sales are on pace for only 226,000 vehicles this year. Hyundai has handled the potential overproduction by having the plant sit idle on Fridays through the rest of this year, but a third vehicle line may be added to take advantage of production capacity.

Montgomery Advertiser: Hyundai plant may be in line for third model

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Hanil USA, a tier 1 Hyundai supplier, recently opened a 54,000 sq ft plant in Tallassee and already plans to expand to make parts for Kia. Hanil makes brake, fuel and power steering fluid lines for Hyundai's Santa Fe and Sonata.

Auto parts supplier opens new plant

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The Montgomery Industrial Park, located in East Montgomery off the I-85 Mitylene exit, now has five businesses with two more announcements scheduled for this spring.

The park is more upscale than most industrial parks. Metal buildings are forbidden, and a board reviews every building plan. Located within the city limits of Montgomery, the park was developed by the county, which invested about $17 million in the land, road and utilities.

Montgomery Industrial Park continues growth

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