After more than 10 years in business in Enterprise, HS Automotive Alabama was proud to cut the ribbon on its second facility Feb. 19, as well as announce the facility will not only house the previously announced 100 jobs, but an additional 200 as well.
In May 2012, HSAA announced that it would construct the plant and create 100 new jobs, but HSAA President and CEO Harry Kim was pleased to announce that the expansion would go even further with an additional 50,000 square feet and 200 more jobs.
The expansion of the company, which manufactures weather stripping, tubing and pressure hoses for Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler and GM, is an example of the growing car manufacturing industry in Alabama.
During the ceremony, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said economic development begins at the local level, and during the past week, Alabama has added 2,600 new jobs in cities all over the state.
This speaks volumes about the workforce in Alabama, he said.
"The greatest compliment that any company can give to their area is to expand, and that's what this company is doing today," Bentley said. "We continually work everyday with our two-year college system with the new College and Career Readiness Taskforce that I put in place to have a more skilled workforce. Businesses and industry are working with education ... to help produce more skilled workers, which is what plants like this need."
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said HSAA has been a strong economic supporter and a very valuable supplier to Alabama's growing auto manufacturing industry.
"Enterprise has a slogan, City of Progress. And under the leadership of Mayor (Kenneth) Boswell and the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation, you all are about to live up to that claim, City of Progress," Ivey said.
Seeing what's been accomplished within the past decade with the company is overwhelming, Boswell said, and to be a part of it means a great deal to not only him, but for the city collectively.
"One of the things that we have worked hard at doing is creating diversification not only within the city limits of Enterprise but from a regional approach," he said. "We all (fellow mayors) work collectively to try to make the region stronger, and by us all pulling together we can accomplish a lot."
Boswell said the expansion of the industry is just one example of what the city hopes to see a lot of in 2014.
Dae Hyun Baek, president and CEO of Hwaseung Rubber and Automotive, parent company of HSAA, said he was very glad to attend the opening of the second HSAA plant.
Baek thanked Boswell and Bentley for their continued support and for all the individuals who worked to complete the new facility.
Once the new jobs are in place, HSAA will employ more than 600 people from across the Wiregrass.
A job fair is currently being organized to take place later this year to provide an opportunity for people to come in and tour the facility and see what's available in the new plant.