STEELE – The St. Clair County Economic Development Council (EDC) announced Tuesday the expansion of Rain Bird Corporation’s facility in Steele to include its distribution operations.

The town of Steele, St. Clair County and the St. Clair County EDC continue to work alongside this industry as it enhances its facilities and grows in St. Clair County. This expansion will include an $11.8 million capital investment in the facility and create 43 new jobs.

In 2009, the irrigation equipment manufacturer and distributor occupied the former Saks Inc. warehouse owned by Belk Inc.

Until now, the facility has functioned as a manufacturing site for Rain Bird with some warehouse operations. Rain Bird is an industry leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. It offers the broadest selection of these products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the world and is expanding its footprint to handle more business in the future.

Its commitment to “The Intelligent Use of Water” sets Rain Bird apart, and it continually works to create long-term partnerships with its customers.

Commission Chairman Stan Batemon said St. Clair County looks forward to the addition of the new jobs to Rain Bird’s Steele facility.

“We are proud of the growth and success this company has experienced in our county, and we only hope to see them continue to expand in the future,” Batemon said.

St. Clair County Economic Development Council Chairman Tommy Bowers said the St. Clair County EDC has had the pleasure of seeing Rain Bird through its initial landing in Steele and now the expansion of its facility.

“It is always great to see local companies increase their capacity in St. Clair County, and we look forward to their future growth,” Bowers said.

Steele Mayor John Wilcox said he is glad Rain Bird saw the advantage of expanding in Steele.

“We are excited that the company will be providing an additional 43 jobs in our area,” Wilcox said. “We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship in the future and to other expansion opportunities in the future.”

State Rep. Mack Butler said he was very excited about the expansion opportunity.

“The expansion of Rain Bird is right here in the heart of House District 30,” Butler said. “The addition of 43 jobs is a very welcome sign of our recovering economy.”