MOULTON — An automotive fluid producer locating in Lawrence County will be offering jobs averaging an estimated $50,000 annually, according to county industrial development statistics.

A fire sprinkler system manufacturer coming to the county will bring jobs averaging about $35,000 per year, officials said.

CCI Manufacturing USA Corp., a tier-1 automotive supplier that will eventually bring in 28 jobs, and Progressive Pipe Fabricators, which will have about 50 jobs in its fire prevention business, announced last week plans to locate in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Park in Trinity.

Tabitha Pace, county Industrial Development Board president and CEO, said the salary numbers are based on estimated annual payroll figures the companies provided the county.

Pace said she is unsure if the payroll figures include salary and benefits or just salary. Company officials said they weren't ready to discuss salaries at this time.

CCI Vice President Dan Aloia said the company will initially hire 18 employees including production workers, chemists and management and reach a workforce of 28 in three years. Aloia said the company’s production workers “will make much more than $12 an hour” as a starting salary.

He said the Alabama Industrial Development Training will assist the company in hiring a workforce. “We’ll bring the supervisors we hire up to Chicago for training,” he said.

CCI, based in Japan, will be supplying brake fluid and engine coolant to the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA plant under construction in Limestone County, Aloia said.

Aloia said CCI’s factory in Lemont, Illinois, just southwest of Chicago, will supply fluids to Mazda Toyota until the Lawrence County facility in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Park is fully operational in 2023.

“The Lawrence County plant will be a direct supplier to Mazda Toyota and other automotive plants across the South, including Toyota in Alabama,” he said.

He said CCI likes Lawrence County’s central location and the ability to work with the railroad. “We will be installing rail spurs to ship our goods,” he said. “The county’s incentives and the availability of a trained workforce in the area” were positives, he added.

CCI also has locations in Mexico, Germany and Brazil.

Progressive Pipe Fabricators, a division of Shambaugh & Son, will be looking to hire welders and fabricators, likely in the spring, said Angela Alger, a corporate marketing manager for Shambaugh.

She said the company will employ about 50 workers at an 82,000-square-foot building in the industrial park.

“We plan to be operational by July 1,” she said. “We’re excited about coming to Alabama. It’ll be our first site in the state.”

Lawrence County School Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said the new plants will provide opportunities for students in the system's career tech program.

"We’ve recently expanded our industrial maintenance program and hope to double career-tech programs in the very near future," Smith said. "We’re doing what we can to ensure a better life for our students and community.”

Pace said the IDB gave CCI and PPF tax abatements of all state and local non-educational property taxes for 10 years. Non-educational construction-related sales and use taxes also will be abated.

“Both have said there are possibilities for expansion,” she said. “We’re working on projects now. … We may need to get creative with our incentives.”

The Trinity Town Council approved the abatements for CCI and PPF on Monday.

County Commission Chairman Bobby Burch and County Administrator Heather Dyar said the abatements will pay off in the long run even if the county’s coffers don't receive an instant boost.

“We may not see many short-term dividends,” Burch said. “But in the long term, these companies are bringing a great impact to our future generations.”

The Lawrence County economy took a major hit when International Paper closed its Courtland mill in March 2014, taking 1,100 jobs with it.

Mazda Toyota said it plans to hire 4,000 workers by 2021 when vehicle assembly is expected to begin.

Mazda Toyota began the application process this week for hiring hourly production manufacturing employees.

Pace said she is hopeful Lawrence County lands more automotive suppliers.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in the past year,” she said. “I hope we (get more suppliers), but won’t be disappointed if we don’t. Mazda Toyota is wonderful for the entire region, and we’ll have workers who can go straight from school to work.” or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.
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