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Riley says projects to bring Alabama over 1,000 jobs

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Bob Riley announced Tuesday that three economic projects are expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Alabama, a development he says is a tribute to the work ethic in the state.

"Major companies are locating here and expanding their industries because Alabama has the most effective workers in the country," he said in a statement Tuesday while attending the three announcements across the state.

Florida-based Aerospace Integration Corp. will bring 500 helicopter assembly jobs with an average salary of $60,000 to the Albertville Municipal Airport.

Workers at the $20 million, 100,000-square-foot aircraft completion center will take helicopters from the factory and get them battle-ready for the military.

The company mainly does work for the Air Force Special Operations Command, but company President and CEO George Gonzalez said Albertville was chosen partly because of its proximity to Redstone Arsenal, which is home to the Army's aviation work.

The plant is scheduled to open within 18 months with a staff of 300 employees.

"Because of our customer's imminent requirements, our schedule to complete this facility is very aggressive," Gonzalez said.

Following the Albertville announcement, Riley traveled to Fort Payne, where The Children's Place Retail Stores will build a 700,000-square-foot distribution center that will eventually employ 600 people.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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