This has been all over the news in my area for the last few... months, and it had finally come down to two metropolitan areas: Baton Rouge, LA, and Mobile, AL. As announced on local news at 6:00 a.m. Friday, May 11, Mobile won the plant. The plant will actually be built around Mount Vernon, AL, a town which strangely has no mountain but only got the name because it had a small hill that was a bit higher than everything else. According to ThyssenKrupp, this plant is expected to employ 2,700 people and add at least 38,000 other related jobs to the area. Considering this plant alone is expected to cost US$3.7 billion, I find that estimate reasonable, if a bit conservative. With EADS also operating in Mobile County, I think things could become a bit interesting.
I was watching news coverage, and I heard one guy from the Mount Vernon/North Mobile County area say that the announcement was "like watching your mother-in-law drive off a cliff in your new Cadillac. You don't know whether to celebrate or to cry." I've been up to the Mount Vernon area, Grove Hill, Toxey, etc. They're absolutely beautiful, if dying, communities. This will add life to this region and much-needed revenue to the local economy. However, a small part of me asks at what cost? Will those small towns become something unrecognizable? Will they lose that which made them so special? And then, there's also the environmental concerns as well. Overall, I'm both happy and sad about this recent development.