Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, America’s division of global steelmaker SSAB announced that they plan to relocate the division’s head office from suburban Chicago to Mobile, bringing 60 jobs to Alabama.
Since 2001, the company has operated a steel mill in nearby Axis, which employs nearly 600 workers and produces more than 1 million tons of high-quality steel plates each year.
“Mobile is a growing community with a booming economy; we are excited to expand our presence in the area as a trusted employer and community partner,” SSAB Americas’ President Chuck Schmitt said. “Moving our team to Mobile will ensure that our senior leaders and support staff work in closer proximity to our front-line operations, where key decisions are made for our business and customers.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said it “serves as the latest proof that we are becoming the most business friendly city in America.”
The move is expected to be complete early in 2019.
“SSAB’s decision to relocate its North American headquarters to Mobile reflects the success the company has experienced with its Alabama steel mill, which continues to chart a growth path,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said. “With this headquarters project, SSAB will not only create high-paying jobs but also solidify its presence in the state.”
Mobile was selected over sites in four other cities.
Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood said that SSAB’s announcement represents the “next chapter in what has been an extraordinary partnership between the company and the community.”
“More HUGE economic news for Southwest Alabama!” U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said on social media. “SSAB AB, the largest producer and supplier of steel plate in North America, will be moving their head office from Illinois to Mobile! SSAB already operates a steel mill in Axis, which employs almost 600 workers. Great work by all those who helped make this possible!”
This was a big week for Mobile.
On Monday, Airbus announced that it had acquired a majority control of Bombardier’s new 100 to 150 seat passenger C Series airliner and that Airbus would be opening a second product line at its Mobile factory, which currently builds the larger Airbus A320. Bombardier would continue producing the C-Series in Quebec, but the Mobile aircraft would be marketed in the U.S. market.
“This is another great testament to the partnership between Airbus and its U.S industrial home in Mobile and Alabama,” Canfield said. “This is a win-win for Airbus and Bombardier, as well as a positive development for Alabama’s prime trade partners in Canada and Québec.”
Airbus currently employs approximately 400 people, but is ramping up to nearly 1000 employees in Mobile.
(Information from the Alabama Department of Commerce contributed to this report)