Residents Hopeful for Car Manufacturer in Jackson County

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JACKSON COUNTY Alabama and Florida officials are developing a site they hope will be a magnet for industry and new jobs. They announced plans in March for the mega site in Jackson County. Residents are hopeful, even though not much has happened since.

Bay County Economic Development Alliance Executive Director Neal Wade describes the "Tri-State Megasite Alliance" as a vehicle to attract a major industry to benefit the entire region.

"We're all working together because the ripple effect, if you get an automotive manufacturer, your gonna have suppliers,” said l Wade. “You're gonna have people working and coming in from a number of counties into that one site."

The mega site is located near Campbellton in Jackson County. It's 2,000 acres sitting between U.S. 231 and Highway 2. 231 would provide potential manufacturers easy access to Interstate-10, Port Panama City and 4 airports within an hour's drive.

"We have been marketing to several automotive companies, that we believe could have a project over the next several years. So we've been very aggressive in marketing that site," said Wade.

So far the coalition hasn't had any luck.

Residents say they haven't heard much else, since the initial conversation, about the manufacturing company possibly coming to the area. However, they are hopeful because jobs here are limited.

"It's a lot of people that needs jobs around here because there's no jobs around here for the people, so we hope the next generation can have a better life than we had," explained resident Lenore Olds.

Officials from 6 counties in Florida and Alabama are participating in the mega site project.