Industry takes second look at Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2003

The City of Demopolis has gained increased attention from a prospective new industry. As is normally the case, however, very little information about that industry can be released.

Carolyn Etheridge, who works with Alabama Southern College in its workplace education program, said she spent time within the past month touring parts of Demopolis with that industry.

On Wednesday, Mayor Austin Caldwell confirmed that Demopolis has received a second visit from that industry, but he could give no details about the new business or if any agreement has been made with the city.

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Etheridge said the potential for economic development grows by the day in Alabama’s Black Belt region.

Last week, Kathy Leverett &045;&045; who heads the Demopolis Industrial Development Board &045;&045; did not discuss specifics of any industry, but indicated that she expects something great to happen for this community.

Etheridge did not expound on the connection between her trip to Demopolis and Hyundai’s plans to build a supplier in Selma. However, the announcement that Hyundai would build a plant in Hope Hull spurred excitement throughout West Alabama because of the need for automotive suppliers.

Based strictly on location, cities like Selma were placed in "Tier 1," which has to do with the distance from Selma to Hope Hull. Demopolis would be considered a "Tier 2" city, which &045;&045; in some cases &045;&045; means this city has the opportunity to land suppliers for the Tier 1 industries.

Though no official source can comment on the exact industry that has now scouted Demopolis twice, Caldwell did say this city receives an average of at least one visit every month from industrial recruiters.

And even the mayor himself doesn’t know all of the site visits his own city receives.