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Hundreds of new jobs announced as local companies expand

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It has been a good year, according to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce -- with millions of dollars in investments in the Capital City.

The chamber says nearly 300 new jobs have been created at existing companies this year and $230 million dollars invested in business expansion.

The chamber recognized a handful of those businesses today with its "Success Starts Here" tour.

Employees at MOBIS Alabama--a tier one supplier for Hyundai and Kia--say nearly 100 new jobs at their plant mean secure jobs for them.

"Which is very good for us because we know our job will around for a long time," says Madeline Owens, Assistant Manager for the MOBIS Treasury Department.

The company is one of handfuls in Montgomery announcing expansions this year.

And of course as Hyundai and Kia sell record numbers of automobiles...it means good things for MOBIS.

"With the expansion, that gives us work, that gives the construction people work, so it's more jobs, more economy. So we're helping out the economy for Alabama, the state, and the United States," says Alessandro McCray, Accounting Specialist for MOBIS.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 92 million people nationwide have simply given up their search for work.

McCray knows how much even her friends need jobs.

"With us expanding, I was able to help a couple people with applications and making sure that they're hired on."

The chamber visited two other companies doing the same thing--Hartzell Engine Technologies--which makes airline engine parts and Thermalex, Inc, a Mitsubishi supplier.

"About every three or four years we do another expansion and that's part of our growth in the auto industry. Again, we're very excited because we think we will be able to see continued growth that way with the economy coming back strong," says Michael Brotherton, with Thermalex, Inc.

City leaders say it's only fitting to recognize these existing companies since they are the backbone of Montgomery's economy.

"Anytime you're expanding...you're not leaving," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

These announcements come on the heels of another economic announcement earlier this week.

Hancock Bank announced it will open a new corporate and operation center in the old Colonial Bank headquarters, now known as the Capitol Commerce Center.

The new center will employ 200 people and about half of those will be new hires.

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