State Gets Economic Jolt with Ground Breaking

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 groundbreaking of German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp.

The huge steel factory won't open until the year 2010 but it's already creating quite a buzz in southwest alabama.

The ripple affects could impact the entire state.

To say the people in Mobile are pleased is a vast understatement.

As Congressman Jo Bonner told the crowd gathered here, people in southwest Alabama have waited for years for this ship to come in.

This is an important milestone in the state's economic history.

We truly live in a global economy. It's a flat world and we're getting flatter everyday.

When it's completed the $3.7 billion plant will take raw materials from Brazil and turn it into carbon and stainless steel.

Much of it's headed to Alabama's auto industry but the company says that's just the first market.

Before that day comes the state and the company still have much to do.

Thyssenkrupp and its Alabama subcontractors must do a years worth of site work before building begins.

The state must prepare for a huge infux of workers, and the small towns near the site face some infrastructure problems.

The governor is playing down those problems however.

TK executives say this is a day of celebration but come Monday they will begin a year of extensive site preps pouring concrete and putting in giant footers before the first building drops.

That should happen in August of 2009.

If you're interested in working for Thyssenkrupp you're being advised to check with the Mobile Chamber of Commerce or the Alabama Industrial Development Training.