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Remington CEO, Local Leaders Say “Perfect Recipe” Led To Landmark Deal

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT) – A landmark deal that will bring gun manufacturer Remington Outdoor Company to north Alabama was the result of a “perfect recipe” of economic and cultural factors, officials told WHNT News 19 on Monday.

Remington CEO George Kollitides said an ideal list of factors made Huntsville the clear winner in a slew of candidates spread across 24 states, all vying to land a plant that’s expected to bring 2,000 jobs to the area. Kollitides hailed Monday’s announcement as a home run for his company, which will start operations at the old Chrysler plant on Wall Triana Highway in approximately 18 months. The deal means Remington will become Madison County’s third-largest private employer.

Remington officials said north Alabama’s low corporate tax rate and proven workforce of technical manufacturers got Huntsville on the radar right away, with those credentials being further enhanced by the state’s traditionally firearm-friendly culture.

“As a longtime hunter and shooter, obvious pro-Second Amendment guy, I feel right at home,” said Kollitides. “We found a pro-business environment, incredible workforce, pro-gun policies and an incredibly good existing infrastructure for us to take advantage of. ┬áThe actual physical layout of the facility is really fantastic. It has some features that we don’t have in our existing footprint.”

Remington officials have been on site at the future plant for the last eight weeks. The New York-based company has been vocally critical of strict gun control legislation passed in its home state last year. ┬áThe so-called “SAFE Act” bans the sale of some weapons and limits the amount of ammunition that can be loaded into a magazine. But Kollitides distanced Monday’s announcement from the ongoing political battle in the Empire State, saying operations at the New York plant would remain as is for now.

“We’re all disappointed by the Safe Act, frankly, we think it’s unconstitutional,” said Kollitides. “But that was not a driving decision-maker for us…this is really an expansion project for us, and Huntsville really provided us with the best opportunity for expansion.”

Madison County Chairman Dale Strong said a late December handshake between Kollitides and Gov. Bentley outside his office solidified the high-profile deal that garnered national attention.

“After meeting the executives from Remington, I can tell you a handshake agreement was done right here on the [courthouse] square in downtown Huntsville,” said Strong. “You start talking about 2,000 jobs, it’s a gamechanger, there’s no doubt about it… These are the kinds of jobs we’re looking for. I think it does diversify your ship when we’ve got high-pay skilled labor.”

Details on the type of firearms that Remington will manufacture in Huntsville have yet to be unveiled.

Sources told WHNT News 19 that other contenders for the plant were sites in south Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas, among others. Remington declined to comment on other sites it considered. Gov. Bentley said Texas Governor Rick Perry called to congratulate him on the Remington deal earlier Monday.

15 comments

  • cole

    I wish every gun and ammo maker in the country would move here . We need the jobs . I bet we will be able to find .22 caliber ammo at a reasonable price before long .

  • Nuclear Mike

    This will help to offset the BRAC’s coming serious downsizing and since Remington is not re-locating their employees from New York most all of the new jobs will be local hires…almost a regional “wash” from the ~1,500 jobs lost by the papermill closure.

    This expansion is all about the Remington new sniper rifle $80million contract that will take 5+years to create about 1,000 jobs and maybe another 1,000 by eight years.

    The real estate agents won’t see anything to speak of from this deal since almost all will be local hires and very very few out-of-state employees transferred into Alabama…

  • Jon

    Glad to see new jobs but at what cost? I live right around the corner from the old Chrysler plant. I am worried after doing a little research about Remington’s past production sights. A few of them are part of the EPA’s clean up superfund for hazardous materials. With lead, heavy metals and other toxic waste being dumped into pits, unlined lagoons and burning areas. There are many new homes and subdivisions within 1 mile of this plant as well as Triana and the Tennessee River (with connecting lagoons) within 6 miles.

  • brittany foshee

    when can i apply i really need a job like this. i would gladdly drive from scottsboro to huntsville everyday ppl do it all the time.

  • Eric Adkins

    I would also like to know more about the job application s. Im also from Scottsboro. I have ben out of a job since 2013.

  • J.D. Thompson

    WHNT you may want to stop obsessing about how many times you say whnt news 19 each segment and start concentrating on facts. Remington is not moving into a 900 sq. ft building, also I dont think they will be hiring a workforce of 2 million. Commercial cattle such as those shown on persimmon tree rd. rarely if ever bring 8000 dollars per cow . Seriously some of us do try to listen to fact. A few more of these errors and I will find my facts somewhere else. Do these reporters actually have degrees? I will be looking forward to your response.jalt3016@

  • Claire Aiello

    J.D., thank you for your comment. We appreciate your feedback. Would you please specify in which newscast we said 900 square feet or a workforce of 2 million in regards to the Remington announcement?
    Or, are you seeing it in a specific web story? If so, please email me the specific details – claire.aiello@whnt.com

    I’ve checked our scripts and every one states 500,000 square feet and a workforce of 2,000, which is true.

    On the subject of the cattle, that was the estimate Sheriff Mike Blakely said a healthy cow could fetch on the market, had the owner kept the cattle in good health. I’ll be honest, not all of us in the newsroom are familiar with the going price of cattle, but your comment helps us remember to check with a second source to confirm the Sheriff’s estimate.

    Our reporters have degrees, yes. They come from different backgrounds and walks of life, though, so not all of them have journalism degrees. Yes, that may be surprising to some. Some come from news and sports jobs from different cities. Some come from a military background. We feel this gives our newsroom variety and creates a melting pot of ideas, a variety of topics we can report on, etc.

    Sometimes a reporter can be assigned a story he or she may not specialize in. That’s part of the daily news challenge, especially when we have breaking news.

    We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for keeping us on our toes to let us know how we can improve. We hope you’ll keep watching WHNT News 19.

  • Sammy

    Ya, the perfect recipe was a fist full of cash, blend in a dose of tax breaks and free untilities, add a dash of anti-unionism, and stir in some free worker training.

    • bill

      I see the left is still living in the past. praying for the unions to comeback. the unions are dead, thanks to the TEA PARTY, and the American workers for voting these thugs down in Chattanooga.

      • Sammy

        Tea Party? Now I know you are delusional. The tea party had nothing to do with this issue. The vote went against to union because Senator Coker went to bat for the corporations and utilized scare tactics before the vote. He made a lot of promises to the workers if they voted down the union. Now we will see (and the workers will see) if he can make good on his promise that Volkswagen will extend production if they vote down the union.

      • bill

        Sammy, james, wakeup, what ever name you are going by this week, when responding to PLEASE be civil, I know far left people , are in to name calling when losing a debate . Thanks to Senator Cokers hard work to bring Great paying jobs to my state, and keeping the union thugs out. By the way where did you get your information, Huffington Post, MSNBC New York Times, CNN, CBS?

      • Sammy

        Bill, if your senator has brought so many “great” jobs to your state, why is your state still one of the poorest in the country? Why does Tennessee have some of the highest numbers of uninsured people?

      • bill

        WAKEUP SAMMY< your house of union cards ,are falling down, all around you .unions are dead, see what they did to DUNLAP in Huntsville., a few years back ,workers are tired of the union thugs.

      • Sammy

        Bill, you are still avoiding my questions. What has lower union membership brought you in Tennessee? Lower than national average wages? Higher poverty compared to unionized states? More uninsured workers? What part of my post is incorrect? Stop copying and pasting your tired old lines and post some real answers.

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