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BCA, ATN Announce Manufacturers of the Year for 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network today announced the winners of the 2017 Manufacturer of the Year Awards during a luncheon ceremony at the Alabama Activity Center. In addition, BCA partner Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association unveiled the Supplier of the Year winners.

The Manufacturers of the Year in the large, medium, and small manufacturer categories, respectively, are Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Tuscaloosa County, LINE-X in Huntsville, and Central States Manufacturing Inc. in Jasper.

Since its beginning in 2000, the BCA and ATN award ceremony has attracted Alabama dignitaries and manufacturing leaders to honor companies that are committed to improving Alabama’s economy.

The MOTY awards recognize Alabama’s manufacturing enterprises that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability, and workforce relations. Winning manufacturers are selected by an independent panel of judges who look for demonstrations of superior performance in customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth, and investment in training and retraining.

“The annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards seeks to honor Alabama manufacturers – from the largest industrial employers to the smallest businesses – for displaying efficiency, safety, and excellence in their products and the process for making them,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the BCA. “Quite simply, manufacturing is an economic engine powering the state’s economy. Alabama manufacturers in the 21st century are leveraging technology in new and exciting ways, and the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network are honored to help share their stories.”

“These fine companies represent the best in Alabama manufacturing and the use of technology,” said Keith Phillips, interim president of ATN. “Now in its 18th year, the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama are honored to salute Alabama’s best manufacturers for their valuable participation in not only the state’s economy but also the economies of their employees and the suppliers who do business with them.”

The 2017 MOTY Awards keynote speaker was Steve Spencer, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

BCA Chairman Jeff Coleman, president and CEO of Coleman Worldwide Moving in Dothan, recognized MOTY finalists for 2017.

The 2017 Manufacturers of the Year are:

Large Manufacturer of the Year – 400 or more employees

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. 20 years ago rolled its first vehicle off the production line and became the catalyst for Alabama’s success in automotive manufacturing when it pioneered modern automotive manufacturing in the South. Now in its 21st of producing multiple models of premium automobiles and SUVs, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International has rolled out more than 2.5 million vehicles from its expanded operation in Vance.

MBUSI is committed to local causes and initiatives and provides more than 3,600 jobs and another 7,000 to 8,000 jobs in support staff daily. Parent company Daimler AG has invested more than $5 billion in Tuscaloosa County and the manufacturer exports more than $1 billion in products each year across the world.

Medium Manufacturer of the Year – 100 to 399 employees

LINE-X LLC headquartered in Huntsville makes high-performance protective coatings not only for the automotive industry, but also emergency responders, the U.S. military, and other manufacturers around the globe. LINE-X is a global leader in protective coatings development and availability that has expanded beyond bed liners into other areas of the automotive aftermarket such as specialty automotive coatings and accessories. Its products have been used to safeguard bridges, farm equipment, heavy machinery, boats, trailers, and even the walls of the Pentagon.

Small Manufacturer of the Year – 1 to 99 employees

Central States Manufacturing Inc. announced in 2005 it would build a 40,000-square-feet manufacturing facility in Jasper’s Bevill Industrial park. Production of both metal panels and trim for metal buildings began in 2006 with 12 people. Today after more than $3 million has been invested and its operation expanded, CSMI Jasper’s employee-owners manufacture components for metal buildings and other uses. As an employee-owned company, Central States Manufacturing encourages their growth and wellbeing, provides quality products and service to customers, and serves the communities where employees live and work.

AAMA Suppliers of the Year Announced

Also announced today were the AAMA’s Supplier of the Year winners in the large and small categories, and the Service Provider of the Year. The awards are the AAMA’s recognition for automotive industry supply chain partners who demonstrate distinguished performance in quality, affordability, and reliability.

The 2017 Suppliers of the Year are EFi Automotive in Limestone County in the large manufacturer category and TASUS Corporation Alabama in Florence in the small manufacturer category. Air Hydro Power in Birmingham is the winner in the Service Provider category.

EFi Automotive has been in business for 80 years and has its North American headquarters in Limestone County where research, development, and manufacturing of upgraded designs of automotive components take place. The company seeks constant upgraded new and innovative products for today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles. EFi Automotive strives to be a good corporate citizen and is an active participant in organizations related to economic development, promotion of local businesses, education, and related community affairs.

TASUS Corp. Alabama in Florence supplies plastic molded components, decals and nameplates, and distributed products to the automotive and transportation segments. The company considers its customers and employees the most important people in their business. TASUS provides employees and families with tools that empower them to live healthy, enriched lives.

Air Hydro Power, in business 55 years including seven in Alabama, serve automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers. Starting in 2010 with only five employees in Montgomery, Air Hydro Power added an office and warehouse in Birmingham in 2014 and then into north Alabama. Air Hydro Power employs 125 associates who serve customer’s needs across the state.

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.

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Contact: Nancy Wall Hewston or Dana Beyerle (334) 834-6000

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Dana Beyerle
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