Economic Development News
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Build a Technical Education Center in Cullman, Alabama
Thursday, September 20 2018
Cullman, AL — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Wallace State Community College (WSCC) of Cullman, Alabama, to build a technical education center that will help workers gain new, in-demand skills. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 68 jobs.
“Under the Trump Administration, workforce development and training are of the utmost importance as some workers continue to struggle in communities across the United States,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This new facility in Cullman will provide the innovative education workers need to compete for jobs in the global economy.”
Wednesday, September 19 2018
Birmingham, AL — Interstate Industrial Park has received AdvantageSite Re-Designation for another four years. The park is located along I-65 in Montgomery. The total acreage of the industrial park is 700 acres with 350 acres still available. Two projects have located in the industrial park since receiving AdvantageSite designation.
The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements.
Tuesday, July 10 2018
Birmingham, AL — Atlanta-based DC BLOX announced plans for a data center in Birmingham that has the potential to grow into a flagship operation with an investment that could total $785 million.
DC BLOX, a provider of data center, network and cloud services, plans to use the 27-acre, former Trinity Steel site in downtown Birmingham to develop a technology and innovation campus that will drive the connected digital economy in Birmingham and all of Alabama.
The company said the project has the potential to be a $785 million investment over the next 10 years, depending on the success it and Birmingham has in attracting marquee clients and their employees.
Tuesday, April 17 2018
Investment adds to continued job growth in the region
Montgomery, AL — Hyundai Power Transformers USA, Inc. (HPT) has announced a $33 million expansion of its Montgomery facility resulting in the creation of 86 new jobs. The expansion will enable the company to establish a "Smart Factory" and increase production of its power transformers by more than 60 percent. The expansion will include a newly-constructed training facility that will contribute to fostering an advanced labor force, taking the company one step closer to achieving its plan of generating $200 million in revenue by 2021.
Hyundai Electric (HE) recently announced that it is acquiring 100 percent ownership of HPT from Hyundai Heavy Industries to accelerate its strategic approach towards the U.S. transformer market. Hyundai Electric acquired facilities in Bulgaria and China earlier this year.
Wednesday, March 07 2018
Birmingham, AL – Motion Industries, Inc., a leading distributor of maintenance, repair, and operation replacement parts and a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company, will open a new distribution center in Auburn, WA, late spring in 2018.
Enhancing Motion Industries’ logistical network, the new distribution center (DC) will serve 24 area Motion Industries branch locations daily, as well as the entire Motion Industries North American footprint (500+ locations) as needed. Covering just over 62,000 square feet, the DC will stock and ship a broad range of industrial parts and supplies including bearings, power transmission products, fluid power components, electrical parts, safety supplies, and more.
Thursday, January 11 2018
Montgomery, AL — Governor Kay Ivey joined Toyota and Mazda leaders to announce that the automakers have selected Huntsville, Alabama, as the site of their new joint-venture manufacturing plant.
The new plant will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually, with production split evenly between two lines for each company to produce a new Mazda crossover model that will be introduced to North American markets and the Toyota Corolla.
The joint venture represents a $1.6 billion investment that Mazda and Toyota plan to make with equal funding contributions. The site for the new plant in Huntsville sits just 14 miles from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, which produces four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines for several Toyota models.
Wednesday, January 10 2018
Birmingham, AL — The Alabama International Trade Center (AITC), an SBA Resource Partner based at the University of Alabama was instrumental in joining two Birmingham Metro area small businesses - Diamond Fortress Technologies (DFT) and PAKUSA.com (PAKUSA) - to introduce an innovative biometric solution to the Pakistani banking community.
A recent national law in Pakistan requires commercial financial institutions to verify the parties associated with all financial transactions with a biometric feature. The law was implemented to reduce money laundering and other illegal financial activities and particularly those in support of subversive organizations.
Thursday, October 19 2017
Photo Caption: Sweden-based SSB, which has operations around the world, has invested $800 million in its Alabama steel mill. The company is moving its U.S. headquarters to Mobile. (Image: SSAB)
Mobile, AL — SSAB Americas, a division of global steelmaker SSAB, today announced plans to relocate the division’s head office from Lisle, Ill., to Mobile, Ala., a move that will bring 60 jobs to Alabama. Since 2001, the company has operated a steel mill in nearby Axis, Ala., which employs nearly 600 SSAB employees.
“Mobile is a growing community with a booming economy; we are excited to expand our presence in the area as a trusted employer and community partner,” said Chuck Schmitt, President, SSAB Americas. “Moving our team to Mobile will ensure that our senior leaders and support staff work in closer proximity to our front-line operations, where key decisions are made for our business and customers.”
Thursday, October 12 2017
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $30 million to support 35 projects in 15 states under the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative. The funding will assist locally-driven efforts to communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.
Friday, September 15 2017
Talladega, AL — Georgia-Pacific announced plans to construct a $100 million lumber production facility in Talladega that will employ more than 100 full-time employees and generate an annual payroll estimated at $5 million.
Construction on the technologically advanced, 300,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin immediately, with an anticipated startup in late 2018.
“The availability of talent and natural resources make Talladega an ideal site for this new lumber production facility,” said Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager, Georgia-Pacific Lumber.
“The City of Talladega, Talladega County, and the State of Alabama have been incredibly supportive of this new venture, and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship,” he added.
CSP Technologies, Inc. Expanding Auburn, AL Facility for Increased Manufacturing & Warehousing Space
Monday, September 11 2017
Additional 110,000 Sq. Ft. also to be utilized for product development and secondary operations such as filling and assembly
Auburn, AL – CSP Technologies, Inc. – a leader in designing and producing packaging solutions that ensure product protection, enhance brand recognition and improve consumer experiences – is expanding its Auburn, Alabama manufacturing and warehousing capacity by 110,000 square feet. Construction of the new structure, located adjacent to the existing headquarters, is currently underway.
The expansion is necessary due to the recent growth in the areas of healthcare and food safety, and follows the commissioning of a new thermoforming line earlier in 2017. The thermoforming operations will be the vehicle to deliver an upcoming portfolio of antimicrobial products for food safety.
Monday, September 11 2017
Mobile, AL -- BÜR Commercial is pleased to announce a new lease with Rouses Market in Mobile, Alabama. The new 50,000-square foot store will be located at Westwood Plaza at the southeast quadrant of Airport Boulevard and Schillinger Road. This store will be the sixth location for Rouses Market in Lower Alabama. The anticipated opening is in the first quarter of 2018.
Tuesday, August 08 2017
Montgomery, AL — Governor Kay Ivey announced that Provalus, a company specializing in business technology service and support, plans to invest $6.5 million to open a center in Brewton staffed with 300 workers.
Atlanta-based Optomi, one of the nation’s fastest-growing tech-staff firms, launched Provalus to provide an alternative to overseas outsourcing of business functions. Provalus aims to utilize untapped talent in small communities for technology, business and support positions.
“Our main mission is to provide value from the U.S. by bringing jobs back, especially to rural areas,” Provalus President Chuck Ruggiero said.
Thursday, April 13 2017
Huntsville, AL — Aerojet Rocketdyne announced plans to expand its presence in Huntsville with a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the company’s AR1 rocket engine and the relocation of engineering, program management and other jobs.
Altogether, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s overall growth plans for Huntsville calls for the California-based company to add 800 jobs to support the U.S. space and defense programs for the next quarter century and beyond.
As part of a strategic Competitive Improvement Program, Aeroject Rocketdyne previously selected Huntsville as the home of its Defense division headquarters and its Rocket Shop advanced programs.
Kinedyne Expands Alabama Facility, Consolidates Diversified Operations, Enhances Efficiencies and Creates up to 100 Local Jobs
Tuesday, January 10 2017
Kinedyne improves competitive position by combining engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contract functions in one facility with almost a quarter of a million square feet.
Prattville, AL -- Kinedyne LLC, a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of cargo control products for the transportation industry, announced that it is close to completing a major relocation, consolidation and expansion effort designed to make the company more efficient, competitive and responsive to its customers’ needs.
The expanded 200,000-square-foot facility will now house a wide range of employees specializing in engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contracts. The move came as a result of a strategic plan initiated by the company’s leadership, aimed at achieving gains in overall speed, efficiency, productivity and improvements resulting from a unified corporate culture.
Tuesday, November 01 2016
Solon, OH -- HDT Global (HDT), a leading provider of highly engineered, application-specific solutions for military, civilian, commercial and industrial customers announced the transition of its manufacturing operations based in Buena Vista, VA to a new facility located adjacent to its current Huntsville, Alabama facility. HDT also announced the planned opening of its new built-for-purpose HDT Battle Lab and Advanced Development (BLADE) Center in Spotsylvania, VA.
The HDT Buena Vista facility has provided state of the art expeditionary shelter systems for many years. In its new location, HDT will build on its legacy by incorporating value-stream aligned manufacturing methodologies, ensuring rapid and flexible response to our customers’ needs for both current and future programs and initiatives. Michael Kinney, Vice President of Operations, stated, “The new facility offers increased production capacity, while decreasing overhead costs and streamlining related production processes into one geographic area, strategically located in Huntsville.” Sean Bond, President and CEO, added, “The decision to move our shelter manufacturing facility was thoughtfully made.
Wednesday, August 31 2016
Mercedes Alabama plant robots
Alabama’s auto industry continues to power new investment and jobs across the state.
Over the past year, auto suppliers have announced new facilities and expansions worth at least $924 million and more than 2,500 new jobs in activities ranging from precision machining to engineering.
Among the companies growing in Alabama is Lear Operations Corp., which this summer announced a $27.7 million, 535-job expansion of its Tuscaloosa County plant.
The project will boost production to supply seating systems to the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vance. Lear currently makes seats for the Alabama-made C-Class, and now it is adding seats for the plant’s SUVs.
Monday, July 18 2016
Montgomery, AL -- At a groundbreaking ceremony, German auto supplier Gerhardi Kuntstofftechnik announced plans to invest $37.9 million and create 235 jobs in Montgomery to create its first North American manufacturing facility.
“This is a great opportunity for Gerhardi, and we are very excited,” Gerhardi Managing Director Reinhard Hoffman said. “Montgomery Industrial Park offers a great infrastructure, attractive support and is located close to many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
“These benefits convinced us that this is the best place for our new facility.”
Wednesday, July 06 2016
Birmingham, AL -- Motion Industries, Inc., a leading distributor of maintenance, repair, and operation replacement parts and a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC), is pleased to announce the building of a new, expanded distribution center (DC) near Dallas, TX. The facility is scheduled to open in March 2017, and will be managed by Dan Krska.
The new address of the building site, on which Motion has just broken ground, will be 200 W. Trinity Boulevard, Grand Prairie, Texas.
"The new facility will provide excellent proximity for our current market and employee base," said Joe Limbaugh, Motion Industries Vice President, Operations. "The larger space will allow us to grow our industrial supply segment, and adequately fill customer demand in this region. As well, Motion's 5-star processes and technologies will be implemented as part of the new design, which will accelerate our speed to market."
Friday, June 24 2016
Oxford, AL -- Austria-based Kronospan, a leading manufacturer of wood-based panel products, said that it plans to invest $362 million to expand its operations in Calhoun County, adding 160 jobs to its Alabama workforce.
Kronospan said the expansion consists of four separate projects:
“I’m honored and pleased to see Kronospan embark on an expansion in Oxford that will create good jobs for the citizens of Calhoun County,” Governor Bentley said. “Job creation is my No. 1 priority because it means new opportunities for Alabama residents.”
Thursday, June 09 2016
Eissmann Automotive is investing $14.5 million in its seventh Alabama expansion project. (Image: St. Clair EDC)
Pell City, AL -- German auto supplier Eissmann Automotive will invest $14.5 million to expand its St. Clair County facility with a 130,000-square-foot building and advanced manufacturing equipment for a new production line, officials said.
Eissmann, which has expanded its Pell City facility six times since opening a decade ago, will hire 200 additional workers as part of the expansion project. It will also introduce a new manufacturing process that is currently performed only at Eissmann facilities in Slovakia and China.
Friday, May 13 2016
Four new organic tea varieties expand Milo’s famous sweet tea offerings
Bessemer, AL -- It wasn’t hard for family-owned Milo’s Tea Company to decide what delicious products to launch next.
Milo’s has introduced four new USDA certified Café Style Organic Teas in the refrigerated section of stores across the country. Bottled in 59-ounce carafes, Milo’s Café Style Organic Teas are fresh brewed from custom-blended organic tea leaves and sweetened with certified organic cane sugar or a blend of organic cane sugar and organic stevia.
“Our loyal Milo’s customers reached out to us,” said Milo’s Tea CEO Tricia Wallwork, who is also the granddaughter of company founders Milo and Bea Carlton. “They called, emailed, contacted us through social media and communicated to their local grocery stores that they wanted the same great Milo’s Tea flavor using organic ingredients and also green teas. So that’s what we have created.”
Thursday, April 28 2016
Auburn, AL -- The Berghoff Group announced plans to set up its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Auburn, where it will invest $30 million and create 100 precision-machining jobs over the next five years.
John Emerson, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, announced the deal today at the 2016 Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair. The U.S. is the event’s official partner country this year, and President Barack Obama joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel to officially open the fair on Monday.
“The Berghoff Group is a family-owned firm with a strong tradition here in Germany,” Emerson said. “We are proud to join that tradition with U.S. productivity and innovation – among the many reasons foreign firms choose to invest in the United States.”
Monday, April 11 2016
Tanner, AL -- There’s a new state-of-the-art tool in Alabama’s worker training efforts. The Alabama Robotics Technology Park opened in 2010 and represents an $80 million investment.
Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials are cutting the ribbon on Phase 3 of the Robotics Technology Park, an $80 million, 85-acre campus in Limestone County where employees from Alabama companies receive training on the latest equipment from top industrial robot makers and automation software firms.
The RTP is one of Alabama’s biggest economic development assets, said Ed Castile, director of the worker training agency AIDT and head of the Alabama Department of Commerce’s workforce development office.
Thursday, April 07 2016
Mando Alabama expansion
Opelika, AL -- Mando America Corp. plans to invest $19 million in its Alabama manufacturing operation and hire 32 new workers to support the expansion, officials said Tuesday night.
South Korea-based Mando, one of the world’s largest auto parts suppliers, has based its North American headquarters in Opelika, where it makes brake components, suspension modules and steering systems for U.S. industry customers.
Mando Alabama expansion
Thursday, March 24 2016
Danby Group Announces Warehouse & Distribution Center in Saraland
SRS Real Estate Partners Brokers Lease of 4,000 SF to TREK Bikes at Midtown Village in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Wednesday, February 24 2016
Birmingham, AL -- SRS Real Estate Partners (SRS) announced the lease of approximately 4,000 SF of space in Midtown Village in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Wakefield Ventures II, LLC, to open TREK Bicycle Store.
TREK Bicycle Corporation is a major bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor. TREK produces high-quality bicycles, helmets, electronics, cycling shoes, tires, wheels, handlebars, saddles, and other cycling clothing and accessories.
Wednesday, February 24 2016
Alabama -- From the Far East to the Arabian Desert, Alabama-built vehicles continue to make their mark across the globe.
The value of Alabama auto exports topped $7 billion last year, a record annual total and a 5.8 percent gain from 2014. Meanwhile, overseas shipments of Alabama-made motor vehicle parts reached $1.2 billion, an 18 percent increase.
In 2015, China was the top export market for Alabama vehicles, growing nearly 9 percent to $2 billion and knocking Canada out of the top spot, according to trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Canada was No. 2, with Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom rounding out the top five.
Rapid growth in overseas shipments has propelled Alabama to a No. 3 spot ranking auto-exporting states, trailing only Michigan and South Carolina. Over the past 15 years, Alabama’s vehicle exports have risen tenfold.
Tuesday, February 16 2016
Montgomery, AL -- Despite headwinds in global markets, Alabama exports in 2015 held steady at near-record levels on growing overseas shipments of products such as transportation equipment, primary metals and machinery.
Figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that Alabama exports totaled $19.37 billion last year, just below the all-time record of $19.58 billion set in 2012. Last year’s total represents a slight decline - 0.36 percent – from the figure for 2014 - $19.44 billion.
Alabama exports have grown 25 percent since 2010 and 78 percent since 2005, these figures show.
Friday, November 13 2015
Officials at Kamtek expansion announcement in Birmingham
Birmingham, AL -- Auto supplier Kamtek announced plans to invest $530 million in an expansion of its Alabama operation that includes opening a new aluminum casting facility to meet automaker demands for lighter parts.
Kamtek, whose parent company is Canada-based Magna International, says the expansion project in Birmingham will add 354 jobs to its current Alabama workforce of more than 900. Kamtek primarily produces stamped parts for Mercedes-Benz and other automakers at its Jefferson County facility.
Kamtek will invest $530 million to expand its Alabama auto parts manufacturing facility.
Tuesday, October 27 2015
Athens, AL -- Shape Corp. is expanding operations to Alabama, planning to build a $24 million facility in Athens, according to a news release from Gov. Robert Bentley.
Shape, which is based in Grand Haven, Mich., specializes in injection molding and metal roll-forming. It operates globally with operations in the United States, Mexico, France, the Czech Republic, China and Japan. It serves many industries, including automotive, office furniture, medical and agriculture.
Wednesday, October 07 2015
Birmingham, AL -- Nine of the 10 Britten V1000 motorcycles created by innovator John Britten (1950-95) will be at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum on Oct. 9-11, during the 11th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, presented by the Triumph Dealers of North America. This is a significant event, as there have never been this many of the rare Britten V1000s together at the same time.
Weekend Activities for the Annual Barber Vintage Festival presented by Triumph Dealers of North America
Tuesday, October 06 2015
Fan Zone Vendor Space Sold Out Offering More Activities for Fans
Motocross Series returns to the Barber Vintage Festival presented by Triumph Dealers of North America
Wednesday, August 26 2015
Birmingham, AL -- After a one-year hiatus, the Northwest Maico & CZ National Vintage Motocross Series returns to the Barber Vintage Festival presented by Triumph Dealers of North America on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 at the world-famous Barber Motorsports Park.
The three-day motorcycle festival is one of the largest vintage festivals in the country. With more than 65,000 attending last year’s festival, up from 61,000 the year before, the festival continues to grow each year.
Thursday, July 23 2015
Victory Tour to Take Place at Legion Field
Birmingham, AL -- The Alabama Sports Foundation announced that Birmingham, Ala., has been selected to host the fourth match of the United States women’s national soccer team’s 10-city victory tour that will take place this fall. The newly-crowned 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions will be battling it out with the Australian women’s national soccer team at the historic Legion Field on Sunday, September 20 at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
The USA and Australia met in the opening Group D game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-1 U.S. victory on two goals from Megan Rapinoe and a game-winner from Christen Press that kick-started the USA’s run to the championship.
“Birmingham has a strong history with U.S. soccer, as it has served as a host for multiple friendly competitions and a men's World Cup qualifier,” stated Gene Hallman, CEO of Bruno Event Team and Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Foundation. “This event will reinforce Birmingham’s reputation as being a superior host to a wide variety of sporting events and we couldn’t be more excited to once again bring history to Birmingham.”
Thursday, June 25 2015
First Data Center to Locate on Repurposed Coal Generation Site
Stevenson, AL -- The Tennessee Valley Authority announced today that Google has chosen TVA’s Widows Creek soon-to-be retired coal plant site in North Alabama to build its newest data center – the14th across the globe. Joining TVA’s President and CEO Bill Johnson and TVA Chairman Joe Ritch in the announcement were Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, local and state officials and Gary Demasi, Google Director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy.
“This is a big day for TVA,” Bill Johnson said. “The partnership between the Alabama Department of Commerce, Jackson County Economic Development Authority, and TVA helped secure an innovative, global technology company to the Valley.”
TVA’s board of directors approved the closure of Widows Creek earlier this year following EPA’s release of coal combustion rules requiring additional environmental and financial requirements.
Monday, March 02 2015
Commerce names Ted Clem director of business development
Montgomery, AL -- The Alabama Department of Commerce announced today that Ted Clem has been named director of business development, placing the veteran economic developer in a leading role in the agency’s efforts to recruit new jobs and investment.
Clem, whose appointment is effective March 1, joined the Department of Commerce in February 2014 as a senior project manager. Since then, he has been involved in projects including Baxter International’s plant expansion in Opelika and the new Golden State Foods meat processing facility, also in Opelika. Between them, the two projects involve around $340 million in capital investment and nearly 400 direct jobs. Read Full Story...
Friday, February 20 2015
Lockheed Martin executive Randy O'Neal and Gov. Robert Bentley listen at a ceremony marking an expansion at the company's Troy facility
Troy, AL -- Governor Robert Bentley today announced that Alabama has partnered with Lockheed Martin to add an additional 240 employees by 2020 at the company’s Pike County Operations facility in Troy.
“Lockheed Martin has been a strong employer in Pike County for 20 years, and today we celebrate the announcement of an enhanced partnership that will create a total of 240 additional jobs before 2020 for the hard-working families in Troy,” Governor Robert Bentley said.
An artist’s sketch of the Long-Range Strike Systems cruise missile annex under construction at Lockheed Martin's Pike County facility.An artist’s sketch of the Long-Range Strike Systems cruise missile annex under construction at Lockheed Martin’s Pike County facility.
Wednesday, February 18 2015
Opelika, AL -- California-based Golden State Foods will build a meat-processing plant in Opelika , bringing approximately 175 jobs to the area to produce hamburger patties and other ground beef products for the restaurant industry.
According to Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Golden State Foods officials, the project — announced during a teleconference Tuesday at Opelika Power Services — will mean a $50 million capital investment in Opelika .
“We want good-paying jobs. We think a lot of good things happen when good-paying jobs arrive,” Fuller said. “This will be 170-plus good-paying jobs in Opelika and the surrounding areas. It’s very exciting. It’s a brand-new sector for us. We have automotive, we have medical device manufacturing, we have vitamins, minerals and nutrition, and now we’ll be in the meat-processing business with Golden State Foods. It’s a nice fit for us.” Read Full Story...
Tuesday, January 13 2015
Huntsville, AL -- Governor Robert Bentley on Friday joined state and local leaders in Huntsville to announce Polaris Industries has chosen Alabama to produce off-road vehicles and create up to 2,000 new jobs for North Alabama.
“I am honored to welcome Polaris Industries to Alabama,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “The Alabama workforce, our business climate and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies. I am confident that Polaris will soon experience the success that other companies in Alabama have already experienced. Alabama’s success in advanced manufacturing is a result of the state’s successful Accelerate Alabama plan, and Polaris’ off-road vehicle production strategy fits perfectly within our manufacturing goals. I look forward to the completion of this state-of-the-art facility next year, and a continued partnership with Polaris.”