Business and Industry
While Chilton County is a tourist destination for many stopping on their route along Interstate 65, it is also home to individuals striving to see the county flourish and grow.
The county is strategically located in the center of the state, and is considered roughly “halfway” between Birmingham and Montgomery on Interstate 65.
The area is bountiful in agriculture with varieties of peaches available during the summer months, but it is also home to many businesses and industries that continue to grow and attract others from around the world.
According to the county’s Industrial Development Authority, there are many factors that go into creating a strong economic development setting, but location remains at the top of the list.
Chilton County is located in the center of the state and can capture almost one-fifth of Alabama’s population within an hour’s drive. This makes our county a prime location for economic growth ... in advanced manufacturing, but also in other sectors of economic growth.
Chilton County’s existing industry, as well as the quality of life, will continue to create a strong foundation for sustained growth.
The county's central location makes it an ideal place for industries. Improvements at the Chilton County Airport will help those from far away scout out potential places to locate their industries. In the next couple of years, the airport plans to expand its runaway by 1,000 feet to accommodate more commercial traffic. This will give the airport 5,000 feet of runway.
"If we are not accessible and they cannot land here, we are going to be taken off the list for future development in a heartbeat,” Airport Authority board member Billy Singleton said. “If we get to 5,000 feet, we can draw a 500-mile circle around us, which is an average business flight in jet in one hour. That opens up an entirely different potential customer base. If (a business) comes and looks at us, that’s the first step. Once they can get here, they will check into what else we have to offer.”
The airport has 30 aircraft based at the airport, and it has become an important stop for those patrolling for forest fires and for emergency medical flights.
In terms of industry, the county’s largest employer currently is Adient, which continues to make strides in the automotive industry with one out of every three seats in the world of automobiles coming from an Adient facility.
They supply an excellent quality of product to the automotive industry by producing over 25,000,000 seats a year in their global locations. The Adient Clanton plant employs 950 people and works to supply multiple automotive companies the precision and quality needed for their automobiles.
Additional industries throughout the county that continue to create a strong foundation of employment and growth for the county include O-Flex Metal Finishing, South Coast Paper, Stella Jones and West Frasier Lumber.
O-flex Metal Finishing held its first job fair in 2020 as the company switched to hiring employees directly, rather than through a recruiting agency.
In 2020, the Alabama Career Center System secured a location in Chilton County to help employees and employers. Services include on-the-job training and resume preparation for jobseekers and recruitment assistance and pre-employment screening for employers.
The Chilton County Industrial Development Authority is committed to working with K-12, Jefferson State Community College and statewide workforce initiatives to identify programs to implement in all sectors of education.
Many of the county’s assets include St. Vincent’s Clanton location, Jefferson State Community College, a strong public education system, a cohesive government structure and a strong infrastructure system.
Establishing a dedicated workforce development center is also in the works.
Peach Jam Jubilee - June 27, 2020