New Chamber of Commerce Location Honors Former Alatex, Andala Employees In Andalusia

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By Catalina Trivino

CBS 8 is covering Andalusia, where the city is in the process of renovating a former apparel company to relocate the chamber of commerce.

It's a building full of history -- and at one point, used to be home to one of the biggest employers in Andalusia. Now, it'll be a place to honor former employees who spent years working at this plant.

This once was the Alatex and Andala Corporate Headquarters -- a textile and apparel plant that employed up to 1,500 people in Andalusia. For almost 70 years, the company was a way a way of life for many people in Covington County.

"I mean, that's what put food on the table here in Andalusia," Said Andalusia local, Robbie Ballard, who says he has three family members who once worked at the company.

 

Ballard recalls his grandfather working there. He says there were tough times, but he's sure he'd be proud of the renovations ahead.

"He loved his job," Said Ballard. "I remember when I was a kid watching him get his lunch box and going to work and he creased pockets at the Alatex..."

Like the Ballard family, many South Alabamians worked at this apparel company on River Falls Street -- and now, a committee of former employees are joining with the city and Chamber of Commerce to recognize the contribution of the 3,000 workers that once operated this company.

By next September, the building will not only house the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce, but also Alatex Memorial Park. Numerous pictures of employees will be posted inside the building and monuments will remind visitors about the company's past.

"There'll be a brick walkway and everybody buys a brick for a hundred bucks who worked here and that kind of thing and commemorate the past. There'll be a mural wall that's going up," Said Robert Williams, who also worked for the company and is now participating in the construction of the site.  

People as far as California have been purchasing the bricks for the memorial. Bricks are $100 each. If you're interested, the deadline to turn in the brick forms is September 13th. You can pick up a brick form at the Andalusia City Hall or find them online at www.cityofandalusia.com.

 

 

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Andala LLC said on Thursday, Sep 6 at 2:28 PM

There are other Alatex buildings being restored. Take a look at the Andalusia Andala facebook page. Its time that we bring jobs to the Downtown square!!

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