Working Together to Attract Businesses to the Area
The Atmore area is home to a wide range of industries. Many of which have grown over the years. Though, we are attracting newcomers. Agriculture and timber have been longtime staples of the Escambia County economy. But our industry breadth has expanded into new forays-including textiles, metal fabrication, and communication companies.
Atmore city leaders aren't taking this success for granted. We realize that having available land, citizens with a strong work ethic, and well-educated high school and college students near isn't enough on its own to attract economic development. Because of this, our leaders have taken a proactive approach to industrial recruitment. This strategy has included adding buildings at the 150-acre Atmore Industrial Park and creating the Rivercane Development project, a 740-acre mixed-use project, located on Highway 21, just north of Atmore at I-65, Exit 57.
We understand that having a well-trained and educated population is attractive to many businesses. This is why Coastal Alabama Community College and Alabama Industrial Development Training have teamed up to collaborate with local companies. They have developed a program to teach potential employees about each company's specific operations, ensuring that new hires are also well-trained students.
The City of Atmore also works in conjunction with the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, the Atmore Rotary Club, the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority, and the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance to attract new businesses and industry to the area. We do this in tandem with our pursuit of marketing strategies that promote the growth of our community and its existing industries. When we all work together, economic development is sure to follow.
A Beautiful City
A beautiful and motivated city is always a great place to work and live. So the City and Chamber are working together on beautification and hometown pride initiatives to enhance the downtown business district, as well as commercial and industrial properties. We want to make Atmore even more welcoming!
Coastal Growers Peanut Processing Plant
As for growth, Atmore is seeing a lot of it. For instance, Coastal Growers, LLC is currently building a peanut shelling plant in Atmore. This will bring 150 jobs to the area and turn the city into a hub for peanut shelling in southwest Alabama. The company, owned by a cooperative of farmers, is building an $87 million shelling and storage facility on more than 60 acres in Atmore Industrial Park. Once completed and running, the average wage in the plant will be more than $17 per hour.
Jess Nicholas of Centerfire Economic, who serves as executive director of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority, said he expects the facility to ultimately employ 150 workers, and attract other businesses in the process.
"Shelling operations tend to attract other businesses in this sector, and also spur development in infrastructure and other areas. We expect it to have a positive effect on the Port of Mobile as well," Nicholas said. Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said the city welcomes Coastal Growers and is excited to be able to help the area's farmers.
"It's not just the jobs at the plant itself, even as much opportunity as that will bring to the city," Staff said, "it's what we're able to do for our farmers and their families who have lived here and worked here for generations. They've spent their money in Atmore, and they're an important part of our community."
All this to say, the City of Atmore is giddy at the prospect of this kind of growth. We strive to see this influx of companies and jobs continue to trend in our favor.