Taesung, a South Korean company, is investing $6.6 million in a new Macon County plant that will employ 70 and marks the international firm’s entry into the automotive industry.
To be known as Taesung Alabama, the 40,000-square-foot plant in Shorter Technology Park will produce plastic-injection molded parts as well as provide machine designs and services for automotive companies. It is the first in the U.S. for Taesung, which has operations in Korea, Poland, Russia and Mexico.
“This new operation in Shorter, Alabama, is a partnership with the community, and we are honored and appreciative of the support we are receiving,” Chang Bin Koh, Taesung president said at a groundbreaking ceremony this morning, according to a release.
Also at the groundbreaking were Gov. Robert Bentley, Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell, Macon County officials and Jungmin Koh, manager of the Taesung Alabama.
“Taesung will give new hope to people in Macon County,” Gov. Bentley said in a release. “Great things are happening in Macon County with the CSX Select Site designation and today’s groundbreaking. Economic development is truly a team effort, and there is a community commitment in Macon County to create a world-class product for Taesung.”
Earlier this year, a 277-acre site of Interstate 85 Exit 38 in Macon County became the first in Alabama to receive a CSX Select Site designation, a “stamp of approval” from the railroad company that helps communities identify and prepare properties for economic development.
Also in Macon County in July, Halla Visteon Climate Controls completed a 30,000-square-foot expansion, its second since opening in 2003, to its existing 260,000-square-foot plant in Shorter, its. The auto supplier now employs around 490 people in Shorter.
“This project in Macon County will provide additional diversification to the state’s economy and will put local residents to work in jobs that pay good wages and benefits,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said in a release. “It also shows that rural Alabama and the state’s Black Belt counties can compete and win new investment and jobs.”
The Alabama Department of Commerce worked with the Macon County Economic Development Authority, the Town of Shorter, and the Governor’s office in the seven-month recruitment of Taesung.
Although it has a history in plastic injection molding, machine design and production for mostly companies in the consumer plastics industry like LG Electronics, Whirlpool and Electrolux, the Alabama plant is Taesung’s first to serve the auto industry. Hyundai and Kia and their suppliers are expected to be among Taesung's first clients.
Bailey-Harris Construction Co. is building the Taesung Alabama plant. The company expects to employ 70 by the end of 2015, with an annual payroll of $2.8 million. Alabama officials expect the company to expand and increase its investment in the facility.
“This new investment and the new jobs that will follow are greatly needed in our area, and our people are already preparing to excel in this new venture,” Shorter Mayor Powell said.