More than 200 jobs expected to come to Limestone Co. - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

More than 200 jobs expected to come to Limestone Co.

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Asahi Kasei Plastics plans to employ up to 100 employees at an Athens plant. (Source: Made In Alabama) Asahi Kasei Plastics plans to employ up to 100 employees at an Athens plant. (Source: Made In Alabama)

More than 200 jobs are coming to Limestone County, after a pair of announcements from two different companies: one of which is already in place in the county, the other planning to make it their newest market.

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America announced Tuesday their plan to open a second U.S. production facility at a site in Limestone County.

The plant will process plastic resin into a finished product that can be made into automobile components, pool equipment, industrial equipment and other applications.

The company plans to build the facility at a site located at Elm Industrial Park in Athens. Up to 100 employees will be hired to work at the plant, according to the company.

"Today's announcement by Asahi Kasei means several things. First, it means more good jobs for the people of Alabama, and it shows the confidence that companies have in our workforce and in the positive business climate we've created in Alabama.  I am honored to welcome Asahi Kasei to Alabama," said Governor Bentley in regard to the announcement.

The company said Alabama production is projected to start in early 2016.

Asahi Kasei makes automotive sensors which happen to be used by EFI Automotive in Elkmont. That company announced expansion plans of their own Monday, which will bring 125 new jobs.

The Elkmont town council approved about $300,000 in tax breaks for the expansion. Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee said this has been the biggest three-year growth period in the county job market that he has seen.

"I think we've got a good atmosphere here," Menefee said. "The city and county and surrounding cities and counties seem to get along and we all communicate back and forth."

Company officials said construction will begin in July and be completed by the middle of next year. Jobs will range from production to engineering. They are in the middle of another, previously announced expansion requiring another 65 workers. 

"We do have engineering opening coming available," said human resources representative Lynn Lane. "We will have many production openings beginning in 2015, also some administrative roles and technician-level jobs."

EFI officials said by 2017, their workforce in Elkmont will grow from 150 to 340, and people can begin applying now, but not directly with the company. Prospective employees are asked to contact Automation Personnel Services on 6th Avenue in Decatur.

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