Lear announcement a great day for Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 7, 2003

This past Friday will be remembered as a great day for Selma and the Black Belt. It was on this day that Team Selma &045; which is comprised of EDA director Wayne Vardaman, Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones, state Sen. Hank Sanders, Mayor James Perkins Jr., Craig Field Industrial Park Executive Director Menzo Driskell, South Dallas Industrial Park business development specialist George Alford, and Craig Airport Authority Chairman John Pilcher &045; announced that Lear Corporation plans to locate &uot;multiple&uot; tier two automotive suppliers at Craig Industrial Park.

This was an announcement that has long been needed for this area. The feelings of being left out from all of the ripple effects from the Hyundai plant locating in Montgomery has lowered the confidence of the residents of Dallas County and the Black Belt. This will be a morale boost that is needed for not only business owners as they will see a rejuvenated customer base, but as well for the normal Selmian who now has hopes of bettering their employment and way of life.

Since the closing of the American Candy Factory some time ago, the feeling of Dallas Countians has been that they were always going to be left out of the mix from major industries locating in Alabama.

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Not any longer. As Wayne Vardaman states in today’s Times-Journal, &uot;Once you get one, it’s a whole lot easier to get another.&uot; This announcement and the ones that we are sure to hear in the future will have a much needed positive impact on Dallas County’s financial and psychological woes.

The hope now is to provide the new supplier quality workers to ensure the success of the industry. Dallas County has an available work force, but what about the training and skills? It is now our job to make sure we have a plan to train people in the skills that are needed for the manufacturing sector that is coming to our county.

The hurdle of providing the needed skills is miniscule when compared to the impact this is going to have on our county and the Black Belt.

Mayor Perkins may have said it best, &uot;No one can now say, ‘No one wants to come to Selma,’&uot; he said. &uot;People come here and fall in love with this community.&uot;

The Times-Journal salutes Team Selma and all of those who have contributed and worked so hard to bring this industry to Selma.

We look forward to seeing a &uot;Positive Selma.&uot;