Oxford, AL – Oxford City Spokeswoman, Lorie Denton shared the news that a groundbreaking ceremony for a $12.5 million industrial expansion that will create 35 new jobs was held earlier today at Oxford’s Bridgewater Interiors. The Oxford City Council originally approved tax abatements for this $10 million project in October 2020. Due to rising costs of materials and delays due to supply chain issues, the Calhoun County Economic Development Council recently approached the council for an amendment to the original request to reflect a $12.5 million capital investment.
The venue was full of local leaders, elected officials, and members of the Bridgewater team who collectively celebrated the ceremonial start of the 40,000 square foot expansion.
Don Hopper, executive director of the Calhoun County EDC explains the importance of teamwork to make a project work. “We could not have gotten this project done without Mayor Alton Craft and Oxford’s City Council. They continue to support the EDC and our local manufacturing industries, which allows us to bring new jobs into the region, “ said Hopper.
The project includes an investment in machinery and equipment, increase in headcount, and a building expansion to support additional warehousing needs. “This expansion allows Bridgewater to continue growing, while establishing an infrastructure to meet customer demand,” says Kelvin Wright, plant manager at BWI’s Oxford facility.
Also proud of the expansion is Oxford Mayor Alton Craft. “Industry plays a vital role in the City of Oxford. Seeing this project now underway for Bridgewater Interiors brings our city great joy. This expansion means 35 new jobs for 35 families. Oxford will continue to grow and give families opportunities for a financial breakthrough, and that is celebrated by all of us. Thank you to Don Hopper, the Calhoun County EDC and Bridgewater for their continued dedication and hard work towards growing Oxford and the families’ economic vitality that live here,” says Craft.
“After 18 years of successful operations in Calhoun County, Bridgewater Interiors is very pleased to embark on this next phase of growth and enhancement of our manufacturing footprint. We highly value our relationship with the Calhoun County EDC, and their support and collaboration on this project is instrumental in allowing us to bring good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to the region,” says John R. Cloud, CFO for Bridgewater Interiors, LLC.
Bridgewater Interiors, which manufactures the complete seat systems for the Honda Pilot and Honda Passport produced nearby in Lincoln, opened in 2003 and currently employs more than 380 people. The company continues to be ranked number three by Black Enterprise’s Top 100 in the nation’s largest black-owned businesses.
Work began on the site in July and the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
*Photo credits Brantley Bargerhuff/City of Oxford