Archived Story

KwangSung plans major expansion

Published 10:24am Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dadeville leaders met last Thursday to discuss a grant application for help extending utilities for another expansion of the KwangSung plant in the William Thweatt Industrial Park in Dadeville.

Dadeville Mayor Bob Smith and council member Mickey Tarpley heard a brief presentation about the application from grant consultant Susan Monroe of Prattville.

She said she’s spoken with Jim Byard Jr., the current director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs about the city’s chances of getting a Community Development Block Grant to offset the expense of stretching water and sewer service to site of the Korean auto parts maker’s next expansion.

Don McClellan, executive director of the Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, said the KwangSung expansion will add at least 100,000 square feet to the company’s Dadeville facility. The promised 100 additional jobs at the facility, McClellan said, will put total jobs at KwangSung above 500. The plant currently employs 430.

Monroe said as much as $350,000 could be made available for the utility project from CDBG economic development money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which passes through ADECA. Though McClellan stressed no deals are final until the governor has a chance to announce it, the area has “kept its promises” in producing the employment boosts that are the key motive behind such grants.

More than $1.5 million in CDBG funding has helped forge Dadeville’s industrial park since the first property was cleared in 2006. Including fellow auto-supplier Seijin, the park employs more than 1,000 area residents. The jobs created at the Thweatt complex, Monroe noted, has far surpassed what was initially promised. She said local industrial recruiters and industry leaders’ habit of “underpromising and overdelivering” has drawn the admiration of leaders at ADECA, the Department of Commerce and the governor’s office.

McClellan agreed.

“One of the things we’ve tried to do that I think was very important was that we keep our word when we tell them something,” he said. “We make sure we deliver. That means a lot on the state level.”