Magazine Archives

Alabama Corporate Moves

Royal Tech, Cash Acme Open Cullman Facilities Two major industrial projects are bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Cullman, AL area. Cash Acme broke ground late last year on a new distribution plant in Cullman, a move that should create up to 100 jobs in 2011. Michigan-based Royal Technologies, a plastic molding injection company, also expanded into Cullman in 2010. The new 200,000-square-foot Royal Technologies plant is located at the corner of Alabama Highways 157 and 278, and will function as a manufacturing facility for injection molding, urethane foam and light assembly parts for office furniture and interior trim for automobiles. The project was first announced in February 2009, and construction was completed a few months ago. Royal Technologies president Jim Vander Kolk told the Cullman Times he was impressed by the efficiency of the planning and construction for the company’s new manufacturing facility in Alabama. “Honestly, we had a lot of options when we were in the process of looking for somewhere in the south to expand to,” Vander Kolk said. “We made the decision to come here in the fall of 2008, and I’m happy to say every day that has gone by has confirmed we made the right call. Our experience with local government on every level has been excellent and exactly what we were promised coming in.” Royal Technologies manufactures injection molding, urethane foam and light assembly parts for office furniture and interior trim for automobiles. The new facility opened with 85 employees. Within a year, Vander Kolk said that number could rise to around 200. The company could employ more than 300 people within two years, according to projections released when the plant was announced last year. “This building is built for the needs of today, but we do plan to grow,” Vander Kolk said Wednesday, while touring the site. “If we work hard, are honest, and do a good job, we plan to add a lot of new jobs. We’re working hard to embrace this community and be a lasting part of Cullman and Cullman County.” Throughout the construction process for the new plant, Royal Technologies facilities director Doug Oosterbaan said the company made a concerted effort to use local contractors from the Cullman area. “We’ve used Apel Steel, Manning Construction, Goss Electric, Hardy Mechanical and other local companies,” he said. “They have been really great to work with.” “We are especially grateful to have been selected by a quality company like Royal Technologies for their southeast operation.” Cullman Economic Development Agency Director […]

Oklahoma Corporate Moves

Construction Begins on ADA Tech Park in Ardmore A public-private partnership between the Ardmore Development Authority (ADA) and ATP Investments, LLC began construction this month on a 47-acre technology park in Ardmore, OK. The park will be located on the west side of Ardmore, approximately 1 mile from Interstate 35. The first phase of construction will consist of putting in the initial stages of infrastructure to the park, aesthetic improvements to the site and the construction of a 5000 square foot building that will be used as a business incubator. The incubator will house a 500 ft. clean room. There will be eight lots ranging is size from approximately 2.5 acres to 4.5 acres. “This will give Ardmore a tangible product we can show to prospects we are recruiting,” states Brien Thorstenberg, ADA vice president. “This is attractive to high tech companies particularly if they need to reserve funds for operations rather than incurring a capital expense. Sites will be available for those companies in position to construct and own their facility,” Thorstenberg adds. “This park also gives Ardmore the ability to leverage the R&D base that already exists in Ardmore with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Amethyst Research, Inc. and Southwest Silicon Technologies.” Flanders Now Operating at Full Speed The Flanders Corporation is operating at full production in their manufacturing and distribution facility at the New Horizons Industrial Park (a half mile east of Interstate 35 just south of Highway 70). Flanders announced their decision to locate in Ardmore, January of this year, and began production in April. They anticipated hiring 100 employees in their first year of operation, but have hired approximately 220 at this point. They plan to have 400 employees at full production. “We are very pleased with our new location in Ardmore,” states Ron Abel, Flanders director of East Coast operations. “We have an excellent work force, and the location of Ardmore has allowed our company to consolidate some of our operations to increase our competitive advantage. We have been pleased with the assistance we have received from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, the Ardmore Development Authority, and other state and local organizations.” The Flanders Corporation based in Washington, NC designs, manufactures and markets the highest quality filter, clean room, and containment filtration systems. The Ardmore facility manufactures and distributes air filtration products for both residential and commercial applications. Brien Thorstenberg, Ardmore Development Authority vice president, adds that Ardmore is fortunate have Flanders in our community. “During a year when […]

2010 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards

Gold Award With a $3.6-billion expansion of Samsung’s semiconductor fabrication facility in Austin, TX, the capital of the Lone Star State has put everyone on notice that it intends to remain the top U.S. hub in the burgeoning microchip sector. Project Title: Samsung Austin Semiconductor Expansion Entered By: Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Our blue-ribbon panel of industry experts had to make some tough choices when assessing the nominees for Business Facilities’ 2010 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards. This year’s competition—our largest field of contestants to date—featured 24 top-flight projects from 20 states. A bevy of major high-tech initiatives went head-to-head with locations enjoying a robust resurgence in traditional manufacturing, including the largest single investment in steel production in years. The judges have spoken: this year’s top honors go to Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Regional Economic Development, Inc. of Missouri and Louisiana Economic Development. The $3.6-billion expansion of Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS) in Texas has been selected as our 2010 Economic Development Deal of the Year Gold Award winner. The semiconductor fabrication plant project was submitted by Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, which also credited the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Austin for their help in sealing the deal. SAS announced in June plans to expand its 12-inch semiconductor fabrication plant in Austin. The project is expected to create up to 7,600 direct and indirect jobs for the Austin Metro Area. The new investment in the Austin fab builds on $5.6 billion the Korean tech giant has previously committed to the SAS facility over the past 14 years, bringing the total investment to approximately $9.2 billion. The company said it would increase employment at the plant from 1,000 to 1,600 by 2011, with annual payroll rising from $70 million to $112 million during the same period. Annual operations at SAS currently inject more than $800 million into the area economy annually; when ripple effects are included, SAS is responsible for more than $1.4 billion each year in local economic activity and $296 million in total worker earnings. Employment at SAS represents more than 13 percent of the Austin, TX area’s technology production base. Almost 3,000 construction workers will be employed in the $633-million build-out of the fab expansion. The expanded semiconductor fab will produced 45-nanometer and below microchips for Samsung’s System LSI business. The plant currently produces a variety of NAND Flash memory chips. “Forty-five nanometer and below advanced logic applications are in high demand and respective markets are expected to […]

60 Seconds with Albert Chen, Chairman of the America China Society of Indiana

60 Seconds with Albert Chen, Chairman of the America China Society of Indiana

The America China Society of Indiana (ACSI) was recently formed as the trade organization that will promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between the Hoosier State and the world’s most populous nation. The effort is headed by ACSI chairman Albert Chen, president and founder of Telamon. BF: How long has Telamon been involved in business ventures on mainland China? Do you have facilities in China? AC: Our firm has been in China since 1986. We operate three facilities there that repair and test wireless devices. We also are involved in IT software development in China and South Korea. BF: The announcement for the new trade initiative indicated that Indiana will be promoting agricultural products, advanced bioscience, automotive and IT technology for export to China. Do you expect this to be a two-way street, resulting in new jobs in Indiana? AC: The focus will be on both jobs and the exchange of goods. We are interested in selling Indiana’s products in China, which will create jobs here. We also want to help China understand the investment opportunity for Chinese firms here in Indiana. We aim to promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between Indiana and China. BF: China has a huge, low-cost labor pool and a growing domestic market. Can U.S. producers compete with Chinese manufacturers in their home market? AC: Our exports to China will help meet the tremendous demand of the Chinese market. We also want to convince China that it can make a wise investment in Indiana in producing consumer goods here as well as industrial parts. BF: What will be one of the key attractions for Chinese businesses that may want to set up shop in Indiana? AC: Indiana is the Crossroads of America. We can offer tremendous logistics advantages for anyone locating their business in Indiana. BF: Currently, the U.S. balance of trade with China is widely skewed in China’s favor. Can this trend be reversed? AC: Sometimes these figures can be misleading. For example, custom touchscreen phone components that cost $178 to produce in the U.S. cost $6 to produce in China, but the value of the goods is usually stated based on the U.S. cost. BF: Many businesses like yours have forged their own ties with China. Why is a statewide trade organization needed? AC: A lot of small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have enough experience in dealing with China. We want to share our experience with them. BF: It took about 20 years to establish a significant number of Japanese business […]