Remington exceeds employment expectations at Huntsville facility

Gun maker Remington Outdoor has exceeded hiring and wage benchmarks established in its development agreement for its new research and development and advanced manufacturing facility in Huntsville.

A recent Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce report indicates that as of the end of August, Remington had 324 employees with an hourly pay rate almost $10 higher than was required by the company’s development agreement with the City of Huntsville and the State of Alabama, the AL.com reported.

The gun maker was expected to create 280 full-time jobs receiving an hourly wage of $19.50 by the end of its second year, which ends Feb. 28.

“Remington is doing more than promised and is well ahead of schedule,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle told the newspaper.

The employment figures, requested by the Huntsville Industrial Development Board, were certified by Mercer & Associations, and the company plans to increase its hiring over the next several years.

If all goes according to plan, Remington would like to have:

  • 680 employees by the end of 2016;
  • 1,018 by 2017;
  • 1,258 by 2018;
  • 1,498 by 2019;
  • 1,698 by 2020;
  • and 1,868 by 2021.

And Remington is continuing to recruit production workers through AIDT — whose mission is to “provide quality workforce development for Alabama’s new and expanding businesses” — for positions offering insurance benefits, a 401(k) and tuition reimbursement, with pay based on skill and experience.

Remington was “recruited” to Alabama through a joint effort by local governments and the State of Alabama in February 2014. The city, local counties and the state all pitched in on an extensive incentive package to help Remington open the $110 million plant in the old Chrysler facility near the Huntsville International Airport, where they manufacture sporting rifles, handguns, H&R shotguns and AAC silencers.

The contract also includes “clawback” provisions requiring Remington to pay a portion of the $1.25 million mortgage on the facility — owned by Huntsville’s Industrial Development Board — if they don’t meet the set job benchmarks.

However, with the company exceeding expectations in employee growth it seems unlikely that those clawback provisions will need to be implemented.

Although much speculation has been made of New York State’s 2013 Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act being the catalyst behind the gun maker’s move southward, company officials disputed those rumors.

Remington announced recently they will be expanding their Lonoke, Arkansas, facility’s workforce of 1,200 by about 84 positions.