ANDALUSIA, AL (WSFA) - Andalusia Mayor, Earl Johnson, and Mr. In-Tae Heo, President of SaeHaeSung Alabama, agreed to expand SaeHaeSung's Andalusia plant by approximately one-third.
The expansion is the result of several months of negotiations between Mr. Heo and Mayor Johnson that began in Andalusia last July and in Korea in August. Mayor Johnson praised Mr. Heo and SaeHaeSung when the two met in the mayor's office to announce the expansion, "Mr. Heo is a dynamic, innovative businessman with a deep appreciation for his employees and a vision for the future that is unparalleled. He has a unique ability to prepare for the future and this expansion will put SaeHaeSung in a position to maximize the coming growth that the automotive industry sees ahead."
Mr. Heo first visited Andalusia in 2006, as a guest of the Southeast Alabama Gas District, while looking for a place to expand to America. He chose Andalusia because he believed in the community and thought that it would be the best place for him to begin his global expansion. Since that time, SaeHaeSung has also acquired assets in India and has grown its operations at the company's headquarters in Daegoo, Korea.
Mayor Johnson thanked the economic development efforts of the Southeast Alabama Gas District during the meeting Friday morning when he said, "This wouldn't be possible without the Southeast Alabama Gas District. I want to thank Greg Henderson, President of the SEAGD, and Billy Joe Camp, the Director of Economic Development of the SEAGD, for their continued support and work to grow our economy."
SaeHaeSung is a tier two supplier of automotive parts that employs approximately sixty in Andalusia's first speculative industrial building located in the Andalusia Industrial Park. It is not yet known how many additional employees that the expansion will require, but Mayor Johnson expects that more employees will be needed in the not too distant future, "I know from past experience that SaeHaeSung will add to their workforce as their business increases. I am confident that they believe strongly that the American economy is on the verge of robust growth and they are preparing for it. We are behind them and appreciate their presence in Andalusia and will do all that we can to insure their success. Economic development is a cornerstone of mine and the city council's vision for our city as we work to drive commercial growth in Andalusia. It is a means by which we provide better opportunities and services for our citizens."
Mayor Johnson hinted at more growth in the future when he said that he expects 2010 to be a good year for Andalusia and Covington County, "We are working on several projects and developments that could ripen to the stage that we can make more announcements next year and beyond. As you know, economic development is a slow, methodical process that takes a lot of time and diligence. However, we are working everyday to bring more businesses to Andalusia and to expand our economy."
After announcing the SaeHaeSung expansion, Mayor Johnson took the opportunity to plug local businesses during the holiday shopping season. "I can't say enough about how important it is that we shop for Christmas, and all year long for that matter, in Andalusia and Covington County. There is no greater tool for economic development than our patronizing local businesses. When we spend money here, businesses expand, hire additional employees, generate more sales taxes, and on and on and on. It puts great pressure on the economy to expand. It also draws more people into Andalusia and Covington County who traditionally might shop in other places."