Opp Industrial Park Receives AdvantageSite Designation, City Leaders Forshadow Big Business
Opp could soon be getting dozens of new jobs -- those jobs are needed in a city where people have seen major factories close.
Opp's Industrial Park has received the distinction of being an Alabama AdvantageSite, which means the city of opportunity could see just that in the near future.
The power is on and all the preliminaries are done in this building -- but it's purposely empty.
Covington County officials say that's because it's now home to one of Alabama's AdvantageSites -- that means it's the 43rd site in the state that is "business-ready."
County leaders say having this distinction puts them higher up on the radar for industrial prospects.
"When industrial developers come in from outside the state, this is where they look to first. They look for the AdvantageSites because they know all of the preliminary work is done and people can come in here and start doing business immediately," Said President and CEO of the Covington County Economic Development Commission.
It's a 40,000 sq. ft. building on more than 100 acres of land located along Opp's Highway 331 Bypass.
And for people like Kathy Davis, who lost her job four weeks ago, it's a possibility of jobs -- for most of her life, she worked at the Opp and Micolas Mill, as well as the American Apparel Sewing factory, which used to be the largest employers in town. And with the good news forshadowing future big business, Davis says she can't wait to hear what happens next.
"The mills went first. The Opp Mill went first and then the Micolas Mill and then the factories started draining out, but once they left, you know, there were no jobs here. So, the thought of getting a job come in, something that big... I mean I just can't even imagine!" Said Davis.
Mayor John Bartholomew says there's already three major companies looking into the new AdvantageSite.
"We're talking [with] another company. I cannot tell you what country they're from but they're looking to come in. That's 150 jobs and we're bidding on them to come and if we get them it's a a $25 million dollar investment," Said Bartholomew.
Bartholomew couldn't tell us the name of that company, but he also says an aerospace company, as well as another company from Australia is looking at the site.
Covington County's Economic Development Commission says it's also looking at potential AdvantageSites in Florala and Andalusia.