A new industry is moving into Covington County, which means employment opportunities for the area.
Advanced Airlift LLC is a new company making its debut in the aircraft parts and maintenance industries. Its customer base is primarily military and it's setting up shop in Covington County.
The company recently purchased the Swet's Building in Opp for the manufacturing of aircraft parts. It will start out with 15 to 20 new jobs paying an average wage of $14 dollars an hour.
Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said, “It brings stability to our city that we lost when we lost all the textile jobs. It brings a sense of growth back to our city and it just means a lot to our community.”
The company expects the number of jobs to increase to 100 by the year 2009.
In addition to their new facility in Opp, the company will also be adding additional jobs at the South Alabama Regional Airport.
Advanced Airlift broke ground for a maintenance hanger to perform repairs on helicopters and C130's for the Air Force. This facility will add 60 new, high skill, high paying jobs to the area.
Tuscon Roberts, president and CEO of the Covington County Economy Development said, “I think it's a benefit to the whole county. It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our housing down here; just really stimulates our economy, these kinds of jobs.”
Roberts says construction of this faculty should be complete in about four months.
The new business will increase traffic at the airport by about 20 percent. The airport will be expanding the runway 1000 feet to be ready for when business takes off.
Roberts says the runway expansion should be completed in about nine months.