MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Automotive giant Kia plans to bring it's first U.S. plant to full scale production on Monday. Though Alabama may have lost the bid to West Point, Georgia, the manufacturer's presence means a big boost for our state's economy.
The billion dollar plant will start milling out SUV's at full speed. At the same time, it will give Alabama's automotive suppliers a nice jump start.
Figures from the governor's office show the creation of more than 3,600 jobs at plants throughout our state. That accounts for workers at 34 plants in Alabama.
Since Kia started work on their manufacturing facility, twelve new companies moved into the state. Many of them in Chambers, Lee and Tallapoosa counties.
That adds to companies in and around the Montgomery area already supplying parts to Hyundai. A spokesman for Kia says full scale production wouldn't be possible without these growing companies.
"It's really like one big family within one short distance of here, where everybody has a piece of that vehicle," said Randy Jackson, the plant's human resources manager.
The Alabama Development office expects more than a fifth of the plants workforce will come from Alabama.
Right now, the plant employs about 1,200 people. Kia plans to hire 1,200 to 1,500 more workers by mid-2010.