Elected Officials And Montgomery Businessman Make A Difference With New Jobs

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Nim Frazer, Chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Board, two elected officials and a Montgomery businessman, the core group who did what needed to be done to bring jobs, lots of jobs to the River Region.

500 to be exact when Hyundai Heavy Industries announced plans last week to call Montgomery home.

"I learned a long time ago in economic development is to understand what the client really wants and then meet that need," said Mayor Strange.

The mayor never forgot that lesson and neither did Frazer.

"It really boils down to relationships," Frazer said.

Frazer is the first to admit he didn't do anything on his own to bring Hyundai Heavy Industries to town but was very much part of the team that negotiated with Hyundai for 10 months.

"It's a changed world. It's no longer the status-quo," Frazer said.

The company plans to build its $90 million plant in the South Montgomery County Industrial Park off Interstate 65 South. Hyundai will make huge electrical transformers beginning in early 2012. Some of those transformers weigh as much as 500 tons.

Chairman Dean found himself doing the little things, up close and personal with the South Koreans, lots of dining at the local Korean restaurant and working off the meals with bowling next door in east Montgomery.

"I had a few good games. Beginner's luck, I think," Dean said with a smile.

Along with a few strikes at the bowling alley, the city ended up striking gold with Hyundai, spending hours on the phone, giving up their weekends to simply negotiate.

It all paid off last week when Governor Bob Riley made the formal announcement before a signing ceremony in downtown Montgomery. Alabama beat out 3 other states for Hyundai's services.

"Bryan, that's my job. We are here to try to provide jobs. That's when the adrenaline gets going," said Mayor Strange.

By winning Hyundai Heavy Industries, this particular project could potentially be a gift that keeps on giving.

Chairman Dean says he wouldn't be surprised if the company ends up employing 1,000 people, a gift made possible made by 3 men who thrive in the competitive game of economic development which means the search for more jobs begins all over again tomorrow.

"I felt the pressure but I like pressure," said Dean.

WSFA 12 News must point out that three governments, Greenville, Prattville and Elmore County pledged a combined total of $850,000 over 3 years to help lure Hyundai to Montgomery, all part of the overall incentives package for Hyundai Heavy Industries worth a little under $10 million.

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