Remington’s plans for a manufacturing plant in Huntsville will have a profound impact on the Athens-Limestone County economy, according to local and state officials.
The company will expand into the former Continental Automotive Systems plant near Huntsville International Airport, and create some 2,000 jobs – many of which will be held by Athens and Limestone County residents — over the next 10 years.
The announcement by Gov. Robert Bentley and Remington CEO/Chairman George Kollitides was the culmination of a regional initiative, including the City of Athens, Limestone County Commission and Limestone County Economic Development Association, which contributed a total of $1 million to the incentive package.
“This regional effort will provide our citizens in Athens and Limestone County with the opportunity to obtain good paying jobs, which is the reason we supported this effort,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said in a statement. “This is a nearly 200-year-old company, bringing more than 2,000 jobs to our area, and when companies like this are looking at other locations, we have to work together on a regional scale to be competitive.”
Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee said entities in Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties created an attractive incentive package for Remington Arms.
“I’m proud the project will be in North Alabama,” Menefee said. “It will greatly benefit Limestone County with the creation of new jobs. I also appreciate the efforts made by the governmental entities involved to make this project possible.”
Tom Hill, president of the Limestone County Economic Development Association, said the tri-county area of Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties is attractive to industries because of the skilled workforce, transportation opportunities and quality of life. He said multimillion-dollar investments such as this benefit not only the immediate area but the surrounding areas.
“Just as companies in Limestone County such as Steelcase and Carpenter Technology’s Athens operations benefit Morgan and Madison counties, the Remington Arms expansion in Huntsville will benefit Limestone and Morgan counties,” Hill said. “In addition to the job opportunities it will provide, it also indicates to other industrial prospects that we are a growing area worth investing in.”
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, whose district includes Limestone, Madison, Morgan and Lauderdale counties, said the nationwide competition for the plant was “fierce.”
“Remington's announcement could not be more timely and offers hope for those who are struggling to find good paying jobs and, in particular, for those who are losing their jobs as International Paper closes its Courtland plant,” said Brooks, R-Huntsville. “Make no mistake about it, the behind-the-scenes competition for Remington's plant was fierce and nationwide. It is a credit to the citizens of Alabama generally, and the Tennessee Valley in particular, that Remington chose us over every other competitor in America.”