Posey welcomed those gathered on behalf of the city of Jasper, the Walker County Commission, Jasper Industrial Development Board, Walker County Economic Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County.
“We all look forward to a long, lasting and productive relationship with HTNA,” Posey said. “Thank you for choosing us, and we’ll do our best to earn the trust you have placed in us on a daily basis.”
According to a press release from HTNA, the company originally leased a building in the industrial park. This new 145,000 square foot manufacturing facility completes the first phase of the project that will add 100 employees to the original 84 employees. Payroll expenses for the expanded facility are expected to total approximately $4 million per year. The press release also said the company has five facilities in North America that manufacture carpet and other interior components for automotive industry.
“I think the greatest compliment that a company can give to an area is to expand,” Bentley said. “And, usually, when a company expands, they expand because they believe they are going to make a profit.”
Bentley also said the company chose to locate and expand in the area because of the workforce they found in Walker County.
“Alabama has the best workforce and the best workers of any state in the United States and, I believe, in the world.” Bentley said, to applause. “And that helps me as I try to recruit jobs from all over the world. The quality of the people in this state and the hard workers, the dedication and the pride they take, that you take, in things you do everyday — I want to thank you. You help me recruit jobs for other people every day, and I want to tell you how much I appreciate it.”
Hiroyuki Hayashi, executive vice president and COO of HTNA, said the company began in 1904, and he was the fourth generation to work in the family business.
Hayashi presented Posey with a picture of Mt. Fugi, the highest mountain in Japan, which he said was a symbol of great success in Japan. Posey presented him with a plaque to be mounted near the Yoshino cherry tree the city planted and dedicated outside the facility.
Representatives from Toyota and Honda also addressed the group to congratulate the company on its expansion. The two automobile manufacturers represent two of HTNA’s largest purchasers.
Norio Takami, president and CEO of HTNA, also addressed the crowd, to pledge a continued commitment to the partnership forged by the community and the manufacturer.
“We will work even harder to satisfy your needs and expectations,” Takami said. “The business environment is more challenging than ever before, but we will continue to focus on our operations and improve our standards through your continued support.”
He also said the company is committed to the theme for the expansion, “Building Tomorrow.”
“We are all working toward a common goal, just in different ways, to build tomorrow, to build our better future,” Takami said. “Ladies and gentlemen, please rest assured, you have my unwavering commitment that HTNA will continue our quality work, second to none, right here in Alabama.”