The homegrown BCA members are Applied Chemical Technology Inc., Florence; Drummond Co., Vestavia Hills; Knox Kershaw Inc., Montgomery; Schwarze Industries Inc., Huntsville; and SEPCO: Sealing Equipment Products Co., Alabaster.
Applied Chemical was named the 2011 Small Manufacturer of the Year at the annual Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards program sponsored by the BCA and the Alabama Technology Network.
The companies are helping to fuel a surge in Alabama exports, Bentley said. Last year, overseas shipments of Alabama-made goods topped $19.5 billion, just short of an annual record, he said.
“Exports are an accelerator for Alabama’s economy and are one of the ‘drivers’ included in Accelerate Alabama, the state’s long-term economic development strategy,” Bentley said. “Alabama firms selling overseas have a better success rate of survival during economic downturns.”
Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said Alabama companies exported products to 194 countries in 2014, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs at home.
Applied Chemical designs and fabricate commercial production plans and equipment for a wide range of industries and Drummond, a privately owned family firm, is primarily in the coal business and is a major producer of foundry coke.
The 91-year-old Knox Kershaw company makes railway maintenance equipment. Schwarze Industries produces parking lot and street sweeper machines, as well road-patching and asphalt-repair units.
SEPCO designs, makes, and distributes mechanical sealing devices for industrial pumps, valves and other rotating equipment.
– Dana Beyerle