Amtex plant expansion to create 110 additional jobs
by James Phillips
Aug 03, 2012 | 8682 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Robert Bentley speaks with Rep. Richard Baughn (R-Lynn) and Steven Gray, president of Gray Construction, after Thursday’s Amtex expansion announcement. Gray Construction began groundwork on building the new facility Thursday morning. Photo by: James Phillips
Gov. Robert Bentley speaks with Rep. Richard Baughn (R-Lynn) and Steven Gray, president of Gray Construction, after Thursday’s Amtex expansion announcement. Gray Construction began groundwork on building the new facility Thursday morning. Photo by: James Phillips
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A global automotive supplier, with a current location in Jasper, announced Thursday an expansion that will bring more than 100 new jobs to the area.

Amtex, a tier one supplier for automotive parts to Japanese and domestic manufacturers, will establish a new facility in Jasper. The manufacturing plant will be located in the Tom Bevill Industrial Park, near the company’s current location. The company manufactures carpet and interior trim components for the automotive industry.

Construction on the $27 million project began after Thursday’s announcement.

Gov. Robert Bentley attended the announcement, which took place on the property where the plant will be located, and said he was excited by the news.

“Any time I can come announce new jobs, that’s something that I want to do,” Bentley said. “One hundred and ten new jobs for this area, comparatively, is just as significant as 1,000 in a large city.”

Bentley also presented Amtex officials with an official State Seal of Alabama plaque.

Mayor Sonny Posey said the announcement is big for Jasper.

“This is one of the most significant industrial announcements in our city’s history,” Posey said. “I belive our city and Amtex will have a long and lasting relationship.”

Hiroyuki Hayashi, executive managing director of Hayashi Telempu, the parent company of Amtex, said he was honored by the support Amtex has received in Jasper.

“It is my honor and pleasure to stand here today with all of you to celebrate our new Jasper plant,” he said.

Hayashi presented Posey with a Jasper stone from Japan.

“This will be enclosed in a case and engraved,” Posey said. “I will put it in a position of importance in my office.”

Hayashi also announced that Amtex will soon be changing its name. As of Sept. 1, the company will be known as Hayashi Telempu North America (HTNA).

The new plant will be on 60 acres the company recently purchased in the Bevill Industrial Park. Phase one of the expansion will include a new 145,000 square foot facility, which will be three times the size of the current building. The new plant is expected to be completed by March 2013.

Capital investment in the new facility is expected to be $27 million and Amtex plans to hire an additional 110 employees as a result of the expansion. Payroll at full employment is expected to be $4 million per year.

Amtex first located in Jasper in 2011, leasing the Spec 4 building from the Jasper Industrial Development Board (JIDB).

“Amtex and Hayashi Telempu have been great people to work with,” said David O’Mary, chairman of the JIDB. “We are thankful to have them here in our community. This is a day we will look back on in a few years, and we’ll realize then how big this announcement really was.”

Amtex invested $8 million in the current facility and has 58 employees. Components made at the current plant are used in manufacturing Toyota vehicles at the Japanese automaker’s Blue Springs, Miss., plant.

“The fact that Amtex located their current facility in Jasper in 2011 and are expanding one year later is a testament to our community and the quality of our workforce,” said David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority (WCDA). “The investment and jobs created by this project will have a tremendous positive impact on Jasper and all of Walker County for years to come.”

Posey said the Amtex announcement would not have been possible without the teamwork between the Jasper City Council, the JIDB, the Walker County Commission, the WCDA and the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County.

“Announcements like this happen when people can work together,” he said. “We’ve all worked together, and we are seeing the payoff for that teamwork now.”