Gov. Bentley tours new Lawrence County industry

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Gov. Robert Bentley and State Representative Ken Johnson tour Independence Tube Corporation's new facility in Lawrence County Wednesday. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

TRINITY, Ala. (WHNT) – Lawrence County is fighting its way back from the loss of hundreds of jobs earlier this year when International Paper shut its facility down. On Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley got a first hand look at the newest industry to build in that area. These new jobs won’t replace all of those lost, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

Based in Chicago, the president of Independence Tube says the company could have built anywhere. It already has a facility in Decatur and the company’s president says there was no reason to look any where else.

“We know the people, we know the workforce and we’re confidant this plant’s going to be humming fairly soon,” says the president of Independence Tube, Rick Werner.

Located in Lawrence County’s Mallard Fox Industrial Park, the new facility represents a $50-million investment thus far, with plans to create a hundred new jobs. Gov. Bentley and State Representative Ken Johnson toured the plant Wednesday, ecstatic the new jobs are coming to an area where they are surely needed.

“We see companies like this and plants like this develop in this part of the state, I think that’s very significant. A hundred jobs here, 250 jobs, I mean it really adds up,” Gov. Bentley told reporters.

Representative Johnson says the industrial park is in a great location and is poised for growth.

“Our infrastructure is growing, our roads are being paved, our water, our natural gas, all of that infrastructure is present. And I am optimistic that we will see more companies that are attracted by the same thing that has brought Independence Tube here,” Rep. Johnson said.

Production at the new facility should begin in about 30 days.

Independence Tube produces steel tubing and piping that is used in construction and several other industries. In fact, much of the steel used to construct the new Lawrence County facility was produced by its plant in Decatur.