Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that James Hardie plans to hire 200 additional workers as the company expands its manufacturing plant in Prattville, where it produces high-performance fiber cement building solutions.
The growth project will double the size of the Alabama facility, permitting a large-scale expansion of its manufacturing capacity. Once the new positions are filled, the plant, located on a 103-acre site in Prattville’s South Industrial Park, will have a workforce of 405.
“I’m very pleased that James Hardie is pursuing growth plans that will create 200 new jobs at its Alabama manufacturing center. This significant expansion project shows the world that another world-class company is thriving in our state,” said Governor Ivey. “This growth will solidify James Hardie’s presence in Prattville, and I know we can work together to create a bright future for the community.”
The announcement comes as the Prattville City Council and Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. approved an expansion agreement with James Hardie, paving the way for the company’s investment in the Prattville plant.
Chicago-based James Hardie said the growth project demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to the community and the state of Alabama. Approximately 83 percent of the company’s raw materials are purchased within 100 miles of its plant, supporting local businesses, and minimizing the facility’s carbon footprint by shortening its supply chain.
“James Hardie is proud of our strong continued partnership with the state of Alabama, the city of Prattville, Mayor Gillespie and city council. We especially want to thank Governor Kay Ivey, Mayor Gillespie, the Autauga County Commission and state Sen. Clyde Chambliss Jr., for their vision and support,” said Sean Gadd, president of North America for James Hardie Building Products. “We look forward to driving economic development and creating new jobs in the community as we continue our mission to transform the way the world builds.”
James Hardie announced plans for its state-of-the-art building products plant in Alabama in May 2017 with a $220 million project. The company calls itself the world’s No.1 producer and marketer of high-performance fiber cement and fiber gypsum building solutions.
“James Hardie’s decision to launch a major expansion project at its advanced production center in Prattville will bring more high-paying jobs and new opportunities to people in the area,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “In addition, this high-impact growth project once again shows how our teamwork approach to economic development leads to valuable partnerships with great companies from all around the world.”
The company said the Prattville location will continue to produce the high-demand plank, panel and trim Hardie products used on homes all over the South. It said the Alabama plant expansion represents a significant milestone in James Hardie’s strategic transformation to a consumer brand.
In addition, James Hardie has proven to be a valuable community partner in Prattville through product donations to local fire and police departments, contributions to school programs and local foundations benefiting underserved families.
“It was obvious when James Hardie was looking at building a plant in our community that they wanted to be a part of our community — not just in our community. They have excelled in business development as well as community involvement,” said Chambliss. “The upcoming expansion will provide much-needed, good-paying jobs to our citizens, and I know that James Hardie will continue to be a great employer and community partner for decades to come.”
Officials in Prattville and Autauga County said James Hardie’s growth plans will generate many positive impacts throughout the region.
“James Hardie’s partnership with the city of Prattville is a true testament to our community’s high-quality local natural resources, infrastructure and workforce. An investment of this size shows that the world’s leading fiber cement manufacturer is committed to Prattville,” said Gillespie. “This industrial expansion is about community partnership and providing citizens with high caliber employment while enhancing the quality of life for all.”
“Collaboration and teamwork are imperative in creating a strong business environment that fosters economic growth,” added Jay Thompson, chairman of the Autauga County Commission. “On behalf of the Autauga County Commission, we are proud to partner with the Alabama Department of Commerce and the city of Prattville in support of companies like James Hardie that are creating job opportunities for our citizens and continuing to grow their investment in Autauga County.”