Our Opinion: Steel mill to be boon for entire region
Published 5:54 pm Monday, May 14, 2007
It's hard not to overstate the impact of the largest private economic development project in the nation.
ThyssenKrupp's decision to locate in Mobile County - bringing at least 2,700 permanent jobs and 29,000 construction jobs - is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region.
The German company's $3.7 billion investment in the area is huge, but add to that the potential for suppliers and other spinoff businesses associated with the steel plant.
And while we celebrate with our neighbors, we must also realize that Escambia County has a great opportunity to become part of this life-changing event for our region.
Economic development officials are already scouting for suppliers for the plant. We have available sites in Brewton and Escambia County that could host spinoff industries, and we have a great community in which employees for these plants would like to live.
We may not feel the direct effects from the steel plant, but even the indirect impact from the largest civilian economic development project will be a boon to our own economy.
Brewton is just 85 miles from the small community where this mill will be located. That puts us just on the edge of the impact area - but not out of reach .
And our recent efforts to boost the quality of life in Brewton through park renovations, new housing developments and other projects will be key to making our city attractive to new residents and potential industries.
Our region has a lot to look forward to - and even as we celebrate we need to be positining ourselves for success.