MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Business Council of Alabama (BCA), in partnership with the Alabama Technology Network (ATN), has announced the 2021 Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Award winners.
Finalists from across the state gathered in Montgomery at the RSA Activity Center on October 1 for an award luncheon, where the winners were announced for the Small, Medium, Large and Emerging Manufacturers of the Year.
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) delivered a keynote address at the luncheon.
Since its inception in 2000, the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards program has continued to recognize the state’s top manufacturers, celebrating the hard work and dedication of each and every employee and promoting the many exemplary accomplishments of Alabama’s best and brightest industry leaders.
The awards honor Alabama’s manufacturing enterprises that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability, and workforce relations. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges based on superior performance in the areas of customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth, and investment in training and retraining.
“I was honored to recognize some of Alabama’s tremendous manufacturers today,” stated Ainsworth. “The pandemic has underlined the importance of strong domestic manufacturing and supply chains, and Alabamians should be proud of the hardworking men and women right here at home who have helped keep our country running over the past two years. I will continue to fight for pro-jobs policies that support our Made-In-Alabama manufacturing industry, which creates opportunity and prosperity in local communities across our great state.”
“From independent small businesses to Alabama’s largest industrial employers, manufacturing is an economic engine that powers local communities in every corner of our state,” said Robin Stone, interim executive director of BCA. “BCA is proud to support the excellence of Made-In-Alabama manufacturers, and the impressive companies recognized today have certainly earned these well-deserved honors. We are grateful to the hardworking employees, innovators and job creators who make Alabama’s manufacturing industry the best in the nation.”
Keith Phillips, executive director of ATN, said, “Our state is blessed with a very diverse manufacturing industry sector as you can tell from those nominated for and receiving awards today at our 22nd annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards luncheon. Manufacturing is one of Alabama’s main economic drivers that employs well over 250,000 individuals, providing great paying jobs and benefits for Alabama families and communities. What an honor it is for the Alabama Technology Network to recognize these manufacturers as well as the entire manufacturing industry in our state!”
Awards are presented in three categories based on the number of employees: small with 99 or fewer employees; medium with 100-399 employees; and large with 400 or greater employees.
The Emerging Manufacturer of the Year Award also recognizes an upstart manufacturer who has been in business less than five years who has displayed significant growth and the potential to breakout in the coming years.
The award winners for 2021 were as follows:
Small Manufacturer of the Year: Muskogee Technology, Atmore, AL
Over the past 25+ years, Muskogee Technology has become a leader across multiple manufacturing sectors, including defense, aerospace and energy. During the pandemic, the company was challenged to pivot business operations and create an array of life-saving products. Muskogee Technology delivered in a myriad of ways; the manufacturer produced well over 20,000 protective gowns for health care workers, designed and produced thousands of acrylic partitions and sneeze guards to separate workers from customers, and produced specialized hand sanitizer stands and iPad kiosks for touchless temperature screening.
Medium Manufacturer of the Year: Nidek Medical, Birmingham, AL
A long-running commitment to excellence was never more important than these past two years for Nidek Medical, the oldest manufacturer of oxygen concentrators in the world. In a time of fear and uncertainty, the company’s outstanding team worked around the clock and behind the scenes to supply critical medical equipment to health care facilities across the globe. Nidek Medical has even supplied oxygen concentrators to many third-world countries free of charge.
Large Manufacturer of the Year: Amerex, Trussville, AL
A family-owned business celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2021, Amerex has grown to become the world’s largest and most innovative manufacturer of hand portable and wheeled fire extinguishers for commercial and industrial applications, as well as fire suppression systems for vehicle, kitchen, industrial and military applications. You will find end users of Amerex’s products at destinations across the globe, from the U.S. government to Buckingham Palace and Disney World to the Empire State Building.
Emerging Manufacturer of the Year: NRTC Automation, Birmingham, AL
Founded in 2019, NRTC Automation is a rapidly growing automation company that strives to ensure all OEMs and tier one companies succeed in Alabama. NRTC provides turnkey, cradle-to-grave automation services. In addition to automation and engineering expertise, the company produces Class A automotive closures (hoods, liftgates, doors and fenders) for the Mercedes GL and GLE after-market vehicles.
The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan, statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Alabama Technology Network links two-year colleges, the University of Alabama System, Auburn University and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to solve the needs of industry. Each ATN regional center tailors its services to meet local needs, providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to enable Alabama’s existing industry to be globally competitive. The network is Alabama’s affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides hands-on assistance and training to smaller manufacturers.