By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced two grant rewards totally $439,000 to help finalize deals that will help existing Alabama businesses to remain in the state and expand creating new jobs.
Gov. Bentley wrote on Facebook, “This grant we announced today will help a Crenshaw County employer expand and create 75 more jobs.”
The Crenshaw County grant that Gov. Robert Bentley announced is a $230,099 grant that will enable a Crenshaw County auto parts manufacturer to expand and create a minimum of 75 new jobs. Bentley awarded the money to the Crenshaw County Commission to provide infrastructure improvements necessary for Dongwon Autopart Technology Alabama to construct a 90,000-square-foot addition to its factory near Highland Home. The company makes door frames, roof moldings and side impact beams for both Hyundai Alabama and for General Motors. This needed expansion will allow Dongwon to manufacture more components for both Hyundai including the Sonata and Elantra.
Gov. Bentley said in a written statement, “New jobs mean greater opportunities for the residents of Crenshaw and surrounding counties. This expansion by Dongwon and the continued growth of the automobile industry in Alabama are encouraging signs of an improving economy.”
The Community Development Block Grant will be used to fund construction of an on-site sewage-treatment facility. The new plant should be operational by the end this year. Crenshaw county is supplying local funding of $57,525 for the project.
Also on Monday, Governor Bentley announced the reward of a $150,000 grant to help put a Cullman County trucking company move to a new larger site and create up to 25 new jobs in the process.
Gov. Bentley said, “This project will assist an Alabama company, in business for nearly 60 years, to expand and provide new jobs. Upgrading public services for the company’s new site may also encourage other businesses to expand or locate in Good Hope.” The Community Development Block Grant will help provide sewer services necessary for James R. Smith Trucking Co. Inc. to relocate to a different site within the city of Good Hope. James R. Smith Trucking was started in 1955 and provides trucking and freight services throughout the United States while employing 41 people directly and providing work for many independent truck drivers.
The company is moving its business to an18-acre site near its present location off Interstate 65. The new location will allow the company to expand into new services including truck maintenance and sales of trucks and trailers. The City of Good Hope is providing local funding of $166,530 for this project.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides CDBG funds to the state of Alabama. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) reviews the grant applications and determines which projects to recommend to Governor Bentley.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.