June 11, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. (WXTX) -- Unemployment rates in Lee County are slowly increasing, but that could soon change. A new Kia supplier is opening its doors and hiring hundreds.
The Kia and Hyundai supplier, Seohan, has been up and running since the first of April. Right now the South Korean company employs 50 workers, but that number will soon get bigger.
Chelsea Mulvenon with Seohan Human Resources said, "Within the year we plan on hiring about thirty more. By the end of 2009 we plan on having about 200 at full capacity."
With Kia and Hyundai suppliers popping up all over the area, even more jobs will be available for residents.
"It's a further commitment to the automotive industry and high technology based jobs in Auburn, Lee County, east Alabama and west Georgia," said Auburn Mayor Bill Ham.
Phillip Dunlap with Auburn Department of Economic Development said, "We've had a good success over the years recruiting specifically targeted companies that are high-quality, high technology."
Not only is bringing these automotive suppliers to the area important, but creating more jobs is essential to bring the unemployment rate in Lee County down from 3.2 percent.
"The Economic Development Department does a wonderful job with attracting industries but also retaining the industries that we have. Because again those are really good jobs for the people who live here," said Auburn's City Manager Charlie Duggan.
With the addition of several hundred jobs, Mayor Ham hopes to see the unemployment rate go down in the next few years. "We continue to be very optimistic for automotive in east Alabama and the entire state of Alabama," said Mayor Ham.