"I think it would be too simplistic to say one answer, but I think the No. 1 issue was having the concentration geographically to the Toyota manufacturing suppliers", he said.
- North Carolina's search for an automotive plant to call its own will continue, as Toyota and Mazda officials announced Wednesday that they will build a $1.6 billion factory in Huntsville, Ala.
But they aren't alone.
The new plant will be based in Huntsville, which is already a hub for the region's budding aerospace industry. "But we have to be super competitive".
"I believe that (the LCCTC) had to be an element that the people who made this decision considered when they chose North Alabama", he said.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle hailed the Toyota-Mazda decision as a milestone development for the North Alabama city.
It is unclear how many indirect jobs will be created at the plant, such as at suppliers that may locate nearby, or how much in tax credits Toyota and Mazda will receive to offset startup and/or operating costs.
"We know there's a user out there for this site, and we're going to find them and we're not going to rest until we find them", said Brent Christensen, chief executive officer of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. They'll have to bid on projects like they do now.
A year ago, President-elect Trump criticized Toyota and threatened hefty tariffs against the Japanese automaker if it built its Corolla sedan for the US market in Mexico.
But what will that mean for Corolla production in Blue Springs?
Besides building cars together, Mazda and Toyota will be engineering certain vehicles together.
The Georgetown plant makes about 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines a year. That plant will eventually stop making the Corolla and focus on the other model it assembles, the RAV4, a small sport-utility vehicle that is now Toyota's best-selling vehicle. It marked the sixth consecutive year that at least 300,000 Corollas were sold.
A major manufacturing plant is coming to Huntsville and Limestone County.
Representatives of the Mississippi Development Authority were not available to comment. MS offered $294 million in financial incentives to recruit Toyota in 2007.
Governor Kay Ivey joined officials from Toyota and Mazda to make the official announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
There is reportedly another localized incentive package that has yet to be announced.
Holladay said that some areas in the high school may have to be repurposed to provide additional training opportunities related to skilled manufacturing.
But Alabama had history and a parts supply chain on its side.