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Chinese Copper Tube Manufacturer to Build Plant in One of Alabama’s Poorest Counties

One of the poorest counties in the country, Wilcox, Alabama, located 100 miles west of Montgomery, is about to get an economic boost from a China-based manufacturer of copper tubes like those used in refrigeration equipment and air conditioning.

An economic development agreement is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the state's "Black Belt region," when Golden Dragon Copper of China builds its $100 million manufacturing facility near the town of Pine Hill.

GD Copper U.S.A., Inc. will be a center for one of the most modern copper tube mills in the world, employing state-of-the-art cast and roll technology, processing methodology and equipment. The company will be the third Chinese-based manufacturer to locate in Alabama. The facility must be approved by both Chinese and U.S. officials.

Once the facility is constructed and operational, GD Copper U.S.A. Inc. expects to employ about 300 with a potential for expansion to 500.

The company will work with Alabama Industrial Development Training for workforce development. "I am committed to putting Alabamians back to work, and this is welcome news for a part of the state that has long been in need of new jobs," Governor Robert Bentley said. "This project shows how Alabama remains an attractive investment for international companies."

George Alford, manager of the Wilcox County Industrial Development Authority, said the project is one of the largest economic development events in the county's history. "Recently, we were named the 15th-poorest county in the United States," Alford said. "We believe this project is the first major step in reducing our high unemployment and poverty rates."

Alabama Development Office Director Greg Canfield said. "Wilcox County and the surrounding region came together cooperatively to make this project a reality and bring much-needed jobs to the area."

One county's loss was another's gain. A similar project was initially slated for nearby in Clarke County. However, an expansion of the project's scope led to the new site in adjacent Wilcox County. "The GD Copper U.S.A., Inc. project is a prime example of how quickly the industrial marketplace can change," Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day said. "After announcing the project in Thomasville last year, the company found it needed a much larger site to serve long-term needs. The City of Thomasville partnered with Wilcox County in securing the new site, proving county lines should never be a deterrent in luring projects to a region of Alabama."

"We are proud to be able to satisfy the site needs of GD Copper U.S.A., Inc. while keeping the project within the Thomasville-Wilcox County region," Day added.

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