WURTLAND Wednesday’s announcement of a new $1.3-billion aluminum mill near South Shore will not only bring hundreds of jobs to the area, but will also uncover a newfound hope.
This fresh attitude was already manifesting among citizens and public officials at the McConnell House where Gov. Matt Bevin, in addition to administrators from the new company, Braidy Industries, shared details on what is to come.
“I’ve been trying to get it done for 24 years and we finally got it,” said Greenup County Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter.
He reflected on the upcoming 550 advanced manufacturing positions, saying it’s “indescribable almost.” He also called the announcement the starting point, stating he thinks other companies will also follow behind Braidy Industries.
As for those who may have lost confidence in the local job market, he believes the new company will sway their feelings into a different direction.
“I think this will bring them back because (Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard) is offering hope with good jobs and good jobs make people happy and I think that’s what this area needs,” said Carpenter.
Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, a South Shore native, became emotional when explaining the impact that Braidy will have on the community. He said it is “overwhelming” to him and that God has blessed the area.
He also pointed out that there would be an improvement on a multiple levels.
“We’ll have better health outcomes, we’re going to have less drug problems, people working, families will be standing together,” he said.
Greenup County Commissioner Tony Quillen cited how the region was hurting through CSX and AK Steel layoffs, saying everyone needed good news. Now that the news has been revealed, he is optimistic that future company expansions could be made as well.
“Anytime someone spends $1.3 billion dollars I think they’re saying, ‘we’re investing for the long haul,’” said Quillen.
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