Steel Plant Brings More Jobs to Covington County

A German steelmaker announced it chose a plant site near Mobile over a location in Louisiana. Governor Bob Riley says it'll have a tremendous economic impact statewide. Folks in one area county are hoping to feel the ripple effects.

Opp’s economic base faltered a decade-ago with the closure of the textile industry, but since then, officials have worked to diversify the local economy.

With news of a German steelmaker hiring thousands at a plant to be built near Mobile, and with Covington County nearly 100 miles away, folks hope to see the benefits.

Director of the Opp Chamber of Commerce, James Kelsoe said, "I think they'll be a tremendous economic ripple effect beyond Opp. We'll look and see what we can do and cast our nets."

Several large grants have led to improvements at the Andalusia/Opp Airport. Although the specifics are not in, the industrial development officials believe the German steel manufacturer will bring business this way.

Gail Trant with Covington County Economic Development said, "It is certainly good news. The specifics are not in but we can see an economic benefit."

With thoughts of more than 3000 jobs less than 100 miles away, it’s truly a realtor's dream.

Angie Metcalf has been an Opp realtor since the 1970's. On Monday night, the Opp City Council paved the way for two new housing subdivisions with more than 100 homes. "We've seen some of the growth already, to put the growth with a new Opp subdivision."

With the four-laning of Highway 84 and other infrastructure improvements, it's hoped German Steel turns gold for Covington County.

Once in operation, the German steelmaker will have just under 3000 jobs and the annual salary will range will be from $50-to-65,000 dollars.

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