Spotlight: Butler, Covington, Crenshaw & Lowndes counties

These four counties in southeast Alabama offer thriving industries, community projects, downtown amenities and more.

Frank Jackson State Park in Opp.

Butler, Covington, Crenshaw and Lowndes counties are located in the center of southeast Alabama — convenient to military bases, automotive manufacturers and the Florida panhandle.

This area also benefits from several exits off Interstate 65, creating opportunities for economic and industrial development, as well as retail and commercial options for travelers and residents. Every county is active in projects designed to improve quality of life, from downtown renovations to new sports parks, and there is a strong sense of community.

In Butler County, the largest manufacturer is Hwashin America Corp. in Greenville, which makes automotive chassis, followed by Coastal Forest Products. Both of these major employers have recently expanded. Other economic engines in the county include automotive suppliers, wood products, transportation/logistics and health care. An emerging sector is solar energy, with projects announced by Greenville Solar LLC and Peak Energy.

Lowndes County’s largest employer is Saudi Basic Industries Corp., which makes engineered plastics, followed by Daehan Solutions Alabama and Sejong Alabama LLC, both automotive suppliers. The county also is well represented in agriculture. Lowndes County also is working to provide more broadband in its most rural areas, and a solar project — a partnership between Alabama Power and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. — is in the works. The solar project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs and generate about $9 million for the county over the life of the project.

Andalusia High School’s stadium was recently renovated.

In Covington County, the largest manufacturer is Shaw Industries, a carpet yarn maker, followed by American Apparel, which makes military uniforms. The county’s aviation/aerospace sector continues to grow, especially at the South Alabama Regional Airport in Andalusia and its industrial park. Other key sectors are automotive suppliers, health care and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, based in Andalusia with campuses throughout the area.

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The county also includes MFG Galileo, which makes fiberglass options for several industries, including the auto industry, and SaeHaeSung Alabama, an automotive supplier.

Covington County also is working on providing more high-speed internet, with Covington Electric Cooperative’s new subsidiary, Buzz Broadband, which recently built a new headquarters in Opp’s Industrial Park No. 4. And PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and Origis Energy have partnered for a new solar project that is expected to come online in late 2022.

In Andalusia and Opp, there are several park projects, including a new park in Andalusia and a new 55-acre multi-sports complex in Opp. The Andalusia park is in the design stages and will include a splash pad, amphitheater, market area, carousel, trails, pavilions, a clubhouse and more, officials say.

Opp’s new sports park is under construction and is expected to include four baseball fields, four softball/T-ball fields, two football/soccer fields, four volleyball fields and a basketball facility. The city is installing a playground, batting cages and splash pad for younger children.

Hank Williams’ boyhood home in Georgiana. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department/Art Meripol.

Crenshaw County’s largest manufacturing employers include automotive suppliers — topped by Smart Alabama LLC, which makes automotive frames for Hyundai vehicles, and Dongwon Autopart Technology Alabama, which makes door frames, inner assembles and more. Distribution is strong, as well as wood/lumber products and health care.

Lori Chandler Pruitt is a Birmingham-based freelance writer for Business Alabama.

For more on Butler, Covington, Crenshaw and Lowndes counties, see the links below:

In Focus

Economic Engines

Health Care

Higher Education

Movers & Shapers

Community Development

Culture & Recreation

This story appears in the April 2022 issue of Business Alabama magazine.

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