Growth at the Lenzing Group’s facility in Axis is expected to add 163 new jobs by 2019, as the Austrian company expands its workforce to increase production of one of its patented botanic fibers.
Lenzing supplies the global textile and nonwovens industry with high-quality, botanic cellulose fibers, and one of those fibers is TENCEL,” which is recognized as one of the world’s “most sustainable botanic fiber for fashion and nonwoven products.”According to Lenzing Chief Commercial Officer Robert van de Kerkhof, the expansion as part of a $293 million investment for the company, but the net result for Mobile County will be an increase in the number of skilled labor positions available to local residents.
“This type of foreign direct investment and the addition of these high-wage jobs is yet another example of our manufacturing growth that continues to outpace the national rate,” Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber, said. “The commitment from Lenzing to locate the facility at the Mobile site demonstrates our area’s success in locating large economic development projects.”
Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood said projects like the expansion of the Lenzing facility in her district represent the “fruits of our labor in expanding our manufacturing sector” — a labor that’s been acknowledged on a national level in recent years.
In all, continued manufacturing growth in the region has gained Mobile recognition from the U.S. Department of Commerce two times: earning the designation of one of 12 “Manufacturing Communities” recognized by the DOC in 2014 and then again in 2016.
“The county has experienced a 31 percent boost in manufacturing from 2010 to 2015. Our region is a federally designated manufacturing community. Our high schools and community colleges offer specialized advanced manufacturing training,” Ludgood added. “This announcement means jobs will be available right here in our county, keeping our best and brightest right here at home.”
Though the expansion was confirmed on Wednesday by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, few details are known at this time about what the average salaries at the facility might look like once construction is completed in 2019 or what — if any — financial incentives Lenzing might be receiving.
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