O’Neal Manufacturing Services To Invest $5.5M In Northwest Alabama

Carbon steel and aluminum parts maker OMS will create 70 jobs in Fayette, while Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. will add 76 jobs In Birmingham.

O’Neal Manufacturing Services (OMS) will invest $5.5 million to open a 130,000-square-foot steel fabrication facility in an existing building in Fayette, AL. The project is expected to create 70 full-time jobs within three years after the facility begins operations.

“We are thrilled to have acquired the facility, and we are even more excited to have the skilled workers that were available in Fayette. People have always been our most valuable asset,” said OMS President and CEO Kent Brown. “In this time of unprecedented low unemployment and worker shortages across the country, good people have become even more valuable.”

OMS Fayette Alabama
(Source: Alabama Department of Commerce)

A subsidiary of Birmingham-based O’Neal Industries, OMS provides carbon steel and aluminum parts for customers that manufacture equipment for construction, agriculture, materials handling, transportation, and other industries.

The company’s custom steel fabrication center in Fayette will feature robotic and manual welding stations, a beam-cutting line, wet paint booth, press brakes, plasma cutting, and saw cutting capabilities to support medium- to heavy-gauge steel fabrication.

“O’Neal Manufacturing Services’ investment will bring advanced capabilities to its new fabrication facility in Fayette,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “This is a positive development for the community not only in terms of job creation but also for growth potential in the future.”

Fayette has recently attracted several industrial projects and new investment in its downtown. Over 30% of workers in the Northwest Alabama region are employed at manufacturing facilities, according to the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance.

“We are excited and grateful that O’Neal Manufacturing Services has chosen Fayette for this investment. OMS is an outstanding company and employer, with a strong track record of partnering with local communities,” said Tom Wisemiller, president and CEO, Northwest Alabama EDA.

O’Neal Manufacturing Services’ new venture will benefit from a motivated workforce in Fayette, according to Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Alabama’s rural communities can offer companies like OMS many strategic advantages as well as an environment that allows companies to pursue ambitious goals,” she said. “The business world is discovering that rural Alabama has it all.”

Kratos Keeps Growing In Birmingham

Earlier this month, defense contractor Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. announced plans to add 76 jobs at its newly established Birmingham facility. San Diego-based Kratos expects to make approximately $8.6 million in capital investments over the next five years

In May, Kratos acquired the engineering division of Birmingham-based Southern Research in an $80 million asset transaction. The acquisition establishes Kratos SRE, an advanced concept group within Kratos’ Defense & Rocket Support Services (KDRSS) Division. SRE currently employs about 140 engineers, technicians and program support professionals conducting work in support of the space community, the Department of Defense and other national security customers.

“Kratos is the perfect home for my engineering team. From hypersonics to ISR applications, Kratos brings tremendous synergies across all of our technical platforms,” said Michael Johns, former Southern Research Engineering Division vice president and now Kratos SRE senior vice president. “We have long been the leader in understanding materials in extreme environments for applications, including hypersonics, but now as part of Kratos, we are able to support programs all the way through flight test and beyond, substantially increasing our total addressable market opportunity.”

The Kratos SRE Birmingham growth plan is part of the company’s overall strategy to expand leading-edge technology capabilities in areas specifically related to hypersonics.

“We appreciate the support that Kratos has received from the State of Alabama and the Birmingham local government,” said Dave Carter, president of KDRSS. “Training grants and other key incentives allow us to accelerate our capabilities expansion and enhance the already impressive workforce at Kratos SRE. The Birmingham advanced concepts business unit is a key enabler to expanding Kratos’ leadership in hypersonics and other technology areas.”

“Over many decades, the talented workforce in the Southern Research Engineering Division has made many important contributions to the nation’s space program and critical national defense programs,” said Canfield. “I look forward to seeing the Birmingham Kratos SRE business unit continue their record of amazing accomplishments as Kratos makes investments in advanced concepts and expands their technical capabilities.”