MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - More high-tech jobs are coming to the Tennessee Valley, while growing north Alabama's impact on the aerospace industry.
Elected officials help a unique launch for RUAG Space's first facility of its kind in the United States. The Switzerland-based company started moving into their $40 million dollar space months ago.
RUAG's launch brings 100 new, high-tech job opportunities.
The company is a product supplier, and longtime partner on United Launch Alliance's Atlas program, with plans of helping with the Vulcan rocket down the road.
RUAG Space officials say they have a twin facility in Switzerland that they've occupied for 70 years, and they hope to have a similar long term relationship with Morgan County.
With nearly 15,000 Decatur residents commuting to Huntsville daily, Mayor Tab Bowling hopes it opens the door to putting more people to work within city limits.
"Decatur just continues to expand its footprint," said Mayor Bowling. "We're very proud of the pro-chem industry we've had but its taken us to space exploration its taken us to a different type of industry."
Leasing space inside ULA's facility is expected to be extremely beneficial to both parties.
"Instead of making parts in Switzerland, it's going to be made here right next to where the rocket is made which cuts down on transportation costs," said Jeremy Nails, the CEO of Morgan County Economic Development Association.
Officials present for the launch say teamwork made it happen.
"We have our city, the city of Decatur, and our county, Morgan County, working with he cooperative district to bring he incentives to bear," said Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur).
"The Tennessee Valley is known for collecting diamonds, RUAG is now one of those diamonds in our collection," said Representative Mo Brooks (R-5th District)
"It says that we are able to complement Huntsville," said Nails. "It also puts us on the map for other aerospace companies, because if ULA and RUAG can do business here, other businesses can also."
Officials expect hiring to begin as RUAG brings machinery and tools into their 130,000 square foot facility this summer.
The launch makes Alabama the fourth state with a RUAG Space facility.