The southwest Alabama county, which had no major industry for nearly half a century, traditionally led the state in unemployment.
However, all this changed after the opening of the $100 million plant, GD Copper USA, which is expected to bring 500 jobs to the region.
"I've been waiting for this for three years," Alabama Gov Robert Bentley told a reporter from China's People's Daily on May 28.
"The Golden Dragon Group brings us important opportunities, as some 500 families in America's poorest county now have the chances to start a better life," he said.
US Congressman Terri Sewell said at the plant's opening ceremony that the plant's start of operation marked an important day in Alabama.
The economy of Wilcox County had lagged behind due to a lack of good resources and opportunities, but now it has both, Sewell added, urging the employees of GD Copper USA to work hard so as to help the plant achieve a big success.
GD Copper USA was built by Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tubing Group of Xinxiang, China. It makes copper tubing for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
The opening of the plant is described by some as "one of the largest economic development events" in the county's history.
GD Copper USA is the third and also the biggest Chinese plant operating in Alabama.