With the turn of a shovel Alabama's economy got another major jolt in the positive direction.
Company and state officials gathered in the small community of Calvert in Mobile County to watch the groundbreakingMore >>
What once was a sleepy southwestern Alabama town - unincorporated and with no real city services - is now home to the biggest privately built industrial project in America in decades.
When ThyssenkruppMore >>
Friday was a huge day for the state of Alabama.
In north Mobile County in the little town of Calvert grounbreaking for the Thyssenkrupp steel plant got underway.
A host of dignitaries including Governor Riley were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for the massive state-of-the-art steel processing facility.
A lot of people are talking about the long running relationship between Alabama and Germany, from Redstone Arsonal to Mercedes Benz.
Now this, the biggest private industrial development in Alabama state history.
It's not the first time Alabamians have heard businessmen speak with a German accent.
What's different this time is the size and scope of the project that's coming.
Thyssenkrupp officials say when it's done the huge 3,500 acre steel plant will employee about 2,700 employees full-time.
They can't project an average salary yet, but say these are high paying jobs.
Crews have already begun moving dirt on the plant site, relatively low tech work, but what comes after is completely different.
Most of the steel Thyssenkrupp will produce will go to automotive factories.
That's not surprising since that industry played a role in bringing the company here.
Governor Bob Riley says one of the biggest reasons Thyssenkrupp came to Alabama is because of Mercedes.
The company did a lot of heavy lifting during the recruitment phase.
Now Riley says he expects Thyssenkrupp to do the same for more companies.
Thyssenkrupp is taking a page from Hyundai in the way it will hire its workers.
It's directing potential employees to the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and later to the Alabama Industrial Development Training.