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Marion county's project expected to have positive effect on Franklin

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
Franklin County has committed a total of $270,000 to help attract a large manufacturer to Marion County. The question is how this project will affect Franklin County should it locate in Guin.
Executive Director of the Franklin County Economic Development Authority Mitch Mays said that the project in Guin could have a huge impact on the entire region including Franklin County.
"We need to think of economic development as a region," he said. "We have think beyond the county line and city limits in terms of economic development."
Mays said having a large manufacturing facility in Guin could benefit Franklin County's economy by offering jobs to some of our residents, even though it's located 40 miles away.
"When people find a good paying job that matches their skills, they are going to drive," Mays said.
He added that studies have shown an individual will drive up to 30 miles to get a job paying $10 per hour. The proposed project is comparable to the National Alabama Corp. that will locate in the Shoals. That company plans to employ 1,800 with pay ranging around $18 per hour.
In addition to the potential of new jobs, the potential manufacturer in Marion County will need suppliers in order to operate. These suppliers may not want to locate in the same area, because they will be competing for the same workforce. However, the suppliers will need to be close enough to facilitate the needs of the manufacturer.
"What's good for Marion County is good for Franklin County," Mays said. "Likewise, what's good for Franklin County is good for Marion County."
He added that the money promised to the incentive will be paid out over 10 years, and if the company does not locate in Guin, there will be no money spent.
"There is no guarantee that we'll get anything if the project comes through in Guin, but I can promise you we won't get anything if it doesn't," Mays said.
There is no exact timetable as to when the project site will be announced, but local officials are expecting a decision soon.