Motus Announcement Ends Lengthy Recruiting Process

Tuesday’s announcement that Motus Integrated Technologies, a Tier 1 automotive supplier, is locating in Gadsden was the culmination of more than a year of work for local and state officials.

Frankie Davis, who oversees governmental affairs and economic development for Mayor Sherman Guyton’s office, thanked a number of different agencies and officials, and some of those involved offered a glimpse of what led to the announcement and what it means for the future.

Bill Greene, assistant director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority, said the recruitment started last April and stretched over the ensuing 15 months.

Following the 2015 death of Mike McCain, Greene led the IDA until David Hooks was hired as the new executive director in January, so Greene had a hand in much of the process.

“They are a very thorough company, and I’m looking forward to them getting here and working with them,” he said of Motus.

Davis also commented on the care Motus took in selecting its site, saying that he knows it will be successful.

“If they run their business like they do their due diligence, they’ll be successful,” he said.

During the announcement, Davis listed numerous agencies that collaborated on the project, including city employees, the IDA, the Etowah County Mayors’ Association, the Alabama Technology Network, the local legislative delegation and state agencies like the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“It was clear from the beginning of our process to find a location for this new facility that Governor [Kay] Ivey, [Alabama Commerce] Secretary [Greg] Canfield, the State of Alabama and the leaders in Gadsden wanted Motus to call their community home, and we are excited to make that happen,” Shannon White, chief executive officer of Motus, said in a press release.

Canfield said the decision is “great news” for Gadsden and Alabama’s expanding auto sector, which announced nearly $3.3 billion in capital investment and more than 5,000 anticipated jobs in 2018.

Hooks said Motus’s choice puts Gadsden and Etowah County on the radar for more economic development because the site was chosen from a number of candidates across Alabama and the Southeast, and such a move can be a signal about the market for other companies.

“I think it’s the beginning of a long-range, strategic plan to fill up our industrial parks here, and I think this particular company will be an addition and a complement to the existing companies that we currently have in the automobile supplier business,” Hooks said. “It’s just an extension of what we’ve been doing and look forward to continue doing.”