After more than two years of construction, the Golden Dragon Copper Plant in Wilcox County is now up and running. Governor Robert Bentley and other dignitaries joined company officials for the grand opening celebration.
"This is one of the most exciting days I've had as governor."
Wilcox County is now home to a new $100 million state-of-the-art facility considered to be one the most modern copper tube mills in the world.
"Any time you can get a good company like this to come to a rural part of the state, we'll have others to come and this will help the Black Belt area," Gov. Bentley said.
GD Copper is bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs to a county known for its high unemployment and high poverty.
"But it's not always going to be the poorest county because we're going to have 300 new jobs, up to 500 new jobs and that's going to make a difference in the lives of people and their families," the governor said.
Lt. Governor Kay Ivey is a Wilcox County native.
"Unemployment in Wilcox has been double digit for years and years, and this is a real opportunity for our folks to get trained and do good cause they are good people and they're hard-working and they want to have good jobs and here they are," she said.
"I've always said that what we need are better resources and more opportunities, and that's what Golden Dragon Copper plant does for us," said Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL.
One production line is up and running with 150 workers already on the job. GD Copper officials are already talking about a two-phase expansion that would add hundreds of jobs.
The plant was built by Dothan company, Covenant Steel.