In the bitter cold, construction workers continue building a massive car manufacturing plant near Hope Hull. Down the road another kind of construction is going on. 19 maintenance employees are building up their knowledge using a little math and theory. This is serious stuff.
"This is the super worker who'll repair million dollar piece of equipment and help make the plant run," says Hyundai public relations manager Bill Lang.
The employees are part of the second wave of maintenance crews who've been hired. Overall, 200 production and maintenance workers are on the Hyundai payroll. Another hundred or so will join the force in early January, and then they'll leave for South Korea for even more training.
"There's a plant similar to this one where they make Sonatas. They'll get hands on training, come back and help teach others," says Lang.
For months we've heard talk about a billion dollar plant along with the promise of a lot of jobs.
"By March 2005 we'll have 900 people employed and by 2007 we'll be over 2,000 jobs," Lang says.
Piece by piece, it's all coming together.
Hyundai begins producing its first car in Montgomery in March 2005. The maintenance workers will start off making $18.50 an hour. Those on the production lines will make $14.50 an hour starting out.