‘X’ marks the spot

HAMILTON - Economic recruiters are calling Marion, Fayette and Lamar counties the “Crossroads of the Automatic South.”
C3 of Northwest Alabama released a newsletter at the beginning of November announcing a new branding for the region, “NAX - The Crossroads of the Autmotive South.”
Gu-Win-based C3 of Northwest Alabama, which is being re-branded Northwest Alabama EDA (Economic Development Alliance), is an agency comprised of three Alabama counties: Marion, Fayette and Lamar.
Its purpose is to recruit and retain businesses and industries to the three-county region to provide jobs and opportunity for the citizens within said region.
C3 Executive Director David Thornell said, “Thanks to the successful shift of many automakers and their suppliers to the Southeast, our region of Marion, Lamar and Fayette counties has earned the pole position and now assumes the crown as ‘the Crossroads of the Automotive South,’ or NAX, for short.”
Within 250 miles from the center of our area are 11 OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), now all connected by Interstate 22, plus a workforce of 798,000 within an hour’s drive-time radius—28.7 percent of which are employed in manufacturing.
This includes the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, the future Toyota-Mazda plant in Huntsville, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln and  the Toyota manufacturing plant in Blue Springs, Miss.,
Thornell also promotes the area as having a welcoming, affordable business and living environment.
“No area in the country is more strategically located for success,” Thornell said.
Interstate 22, which was finally completed in June 2016, connects Memphis, Tenn., to Birmingham—the C3 area falls midway between Tupelo, Miss., and Birmingham and offers four shovel-ready development sites, including Gateway Industrial Park East in Winfield, the Guin I-22 Industrial Site, the Hamilton I-22 Industrial Park and the Lamar County Industrial Park in Vernon.
Marion County has nine available sites in total for industries. The Black Creek Mega Site in Brilliant has 1,600 acres available.


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