Toyota-Mazda plant promises 4,000 new jobs, but officials predict it will generate even more

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Government officials, along with Toyota and Mazda leaders, gathered Wednesday afternoon to announce that north Alabama will be the future home of a $1.6 billion auto plant. Huntsville and Madison County leaders said landing the Toyota-Mazada plant will bring thousands of new jobs to the area, with some of those promised by the company and additional jobs expected to support the new industrial development in a peripheral way.

"Four thousand jobs are going to have a huge influx to our economic development," explained Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce Chairman Gary Bolton.

But Bolton added that those 4,000 jobs will turn into thousands more.

"You can see somewhere between a 2.5 to 2.7 multiplier with indirect jobs," said Bolton.

The new plant will be located on a 1,200 acre TVA mega site in Huntsville near Exit 3 off I-565. City leaders believe it will also impact local businesses already here.

"As those folks move here... or as those folks take jobs here... they're obviously going to need dentists. Or they are going to need new homes. So that's going to be activity in the construction industry. Or they are going to need to buy a home so they'll need to find a realtor, or they're going to need an accountant or school teachers for their kids," said Dennis Madsen, Huntsville's urban and long-range planning manager.

Madsen said this puts Huntsville on the fast track to being the largest city in Alabama. He believes the long-term planning by the city and county is what made north Alabama the choice for Toyota and Mazda.

"We have been thinking about what it would mean to have a large employer or large manufacturer... or land there.... for over five years," said Madsen.

The deal isn't done just yet. Mayor Tommy Battle will present the Toyota-Mazda development agreement to the city council for approval Thursday.