MONTGOMERY, Ala., May 11, 2007 -- Neal Wade with the Alabama Development Office announced on WSFA 12 News shortly before 6 a.m. that Alabama has "won the project," bringing the German steel company ThyssenKrupp to southwest Alabama.
"When you do the multipliers it's about 7,000 jobs that will be created down there. The investment will be at least $3 billion...It will affect all of southwest Alabama. But it will really spread all over the southeast. It will spread all over Alabama. It's such an important project. We have put and the governor has led the team. Our team has put hours that we cannot calculate yet. ThyssenKrupp is a fantastic company. They're going to be an unbelievable partner in Alabama. We're just looking forward to today.
We weren't sure this was going to happen. Louisiana did a super job on this project as well and we certainly salute them and their competition, but we are so proud."
"They sent a request for proposal out for states to respond and there were a number of states and there was at one time three states - Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama and then they eliminated Arkansas and for about the last five months or so it's been Alabama and Louisiana. We have had a team. Governor Riley's led a team. The Legislatures been a major part of that and you've had people all over the Mobile area and southwest Alabama who have been part of the team. Countless hours, I don't think anybody could even calculate how many hours have been put into this to respond to what the company has had to have to make a very big decision. When they're going to invest $3 billion or more dollars in Alabama, they want to make sure it's the right decision."
Wade says, "I honestly believe we solved all the problems that they put in front of us. I don't think it was just incentives. I think Alabama and Louisiana were probably pretty comparable. I think Louisiana as you saw obviously offered a lot more from an incentive standpoint in the last few days than we offered. I believe it was our logistics. I believe it was our team. I believe it was how we solve problems. I believe it was the work force. The fact they knew they could come to Alabama and find a trainable work force that they could count on. They build plants not for 20 years but they build plants for 50 years. So they wanted to come where a state would be a very strong partner for them."