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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Expansion project adding 150 jobs
Firestone plant to add 40 jobs
Schuman Property receives AdvantageSite designation
Company investing in Hanceville; 20 new jobs expected



Expansion project adding 150 jobs

By James Phillips


Fontaine Trailer Company, the world's largest flatbed trailer manufacturer, announced Friday it will invest more than $5 million in new business opportunities and expansions at its Jasper campus.


Fontaine, which is headquartered in Jasper, has established two new businesses, Fontaine Intermodal and Fontaine Renew. Both will be located in Jasper.

As a part of the expansion project, Fontaine is also growing its parts and service organization, PartSource, and its research and development capabilities.

The expansions have already created about 50 jobs, which have been filled, and will create as many as 150 more jobs over the next several months, said John Craig, group president of Marmon Highway Technologies, Fontaine's parent company.

"Our local management team is excited about the opportunities we see for the future of Fontaine here in Jasper," Craig said.

Fontaine recently purchased warehouse facilities inside the Tom Bevill Industrial Park in Jasper to house the expansions. Renovations on those facilities have already started.

Gov. Robert Bentley said the expansion is a compliment to the hard workers of Walker County. "Alabama has a strong workforce," Bentley said. "We have a business-friendly climate, and we're committed to helping companies expand. I want to thank the leaders of Fontaine, the elected leaders from Walker County, our economic developers, and all others who worked together to make this expansion possible.





Firestone plant to add 40 jobs

By Bernie Delinski


TUSCUMBIA - Firestone Building Products plans to add about 40 jobs to its Tuscumbia plant as part of a $40 million expansion that will more than double the size of the existing plant.


Construction will begin the second week of September. Completion is slated for the second quarter of 2013, company officials announced Monday. Plans call for an additional manufacturing line for the company's thermoplastic polyolefin roofing product by July 1, 2015.


Firestone Building Products President Tim Dunn said the company looked at various sites across the nation, but the local workforce and business-friendly environment in the Shoals and Alabama made them decide on the Tuscumbia plant.


"Expansion to the Firestone Shoals plant will allow us to gain some much-needed warehouse space for the short term, and increase our manufacturing capabilities to meet customer demand in the future," Dunn said. "Firestone has been part of the Shoals community since 2006, and we are happy to continue that relationship and grow our business. The state of Alabama and the local community offered us a competitive package that made this a good investment."


Firestone leases its 104,000- square-foot plant at 393 Denton Circle from the Shoals Economic Development Authority. The plant has 54 employees, SEDA President Forrest Wright said.The SEDA board agreed last week to provide $8.75 million toward the expansion if Firestone selected the Shoals.


Dunn said company officials considered 15 existing Firestone facilities in 12 states before deciding on the Shoals. "It all starts with our successful location we have here now," he said.






Schuman Property receives AdvantageSite designation


Birmingham, Ala., (August 27th ) - Schuman Property in Cullman has received an AdvantageSite designation.


The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama's AdvantageSite program awards designations to community development organizations that successfully complete a comprehensive site documentation process. Required documentation is specific to a proposed industrial site and requires data related to ownership/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, as well as infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements.


"We are excited that the Schuman Property in Cullman has received the AdvantageSite designation. This will allow our office and others entities to market the site more efficiently," said Jamie Troutman - Project Development Coordinator at the Cullman Economic Development Agency. "Our local utility providers and engineers were extremely helpful and responsive during the application process. AdvantageSites is such a worthwhile project for economic developers to undertake. All information you could possibly need on the site is in one place."


An 72.65-acre site, Schuman Property is located on 24th Street, 1.7 miles from I-65 and 45-47 miles from two commercial airport, Birmingham and Huntsville. The site is zones M1-P for industrial use and is served by water, sewer, electricity and gas at the site boundary.


Schuman Property is the 37th site in Alabama to receive the designation, and the second site in Cullman.







Company investing in Hanceville; 20 new jobs expected

By Benjamin Bullard


HANCEVILLE - For weeks, Hanceville officials had been scurrying - giving land to the city's ID board; approving a series of tax abatements; collaborating with Cullman city and county economic development leaders on a recruiting package. They wouldn't say exactly why, but their excitement indicated that something good was on the way.
Monday, it arrived. The city announced a new tenant at the Hanceville industrial park, one officials said will bring good jobs as part of a major private capital investment. 
Kennedy Galvanizing, Inc., a Morris, Ala.-based metallurgical company, will locate a new plant on 24 acres of industrial property in a $2.75 million dollar project that, in its first phase of operation, will create as many as 30 local jobs - many of them skilled positions that will draw on what company officials said was a very attractive local work force. 
"Some of this is skilled - there's a lot of labor involved in some positions, but there are positions where you can learn the metallurgy; the chemical aspect of it, and we will definitely promote the folks who are motivated to learn the business," said plant manager and sales director James Kennedy.




[The Cullman Times]

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