BCA, ATN Announce Manufacturers of the Year for 2018

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network announced the 2018 Manufacturer of the Year winners during an awards luncheon ceremony at the Alabama Activity Center held April 18, 2018.

Alabama MOTY awards recognize 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 demonstrations of superior performance in customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence continuous improvement, profitable growth and investment in training and retraining.




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Large Manufacturer of the Year (400 or more employees) ADTRAN Inc., Huntsville

Since its creation in 1985, ADTRAN Inc. in Huntsville has been a worldwide leader in the information and communications technology industry. After AT&T’s divestiture of the Regional Bell Operating Companies, ADTRAN founder Mark C. Smith saw an opportunity to supply network equipment to the new Regional Bell businesses and thousands of independent telephone companies. From an initial seven employees to a workforce of almost 2,200 today, including 1,500 in Huntsville, ADTRAN serves more than 2,400 customers in 68 countries. The publicly traded company has shown consistent revenue growth, devises ways to cut costs, supports employee education and career development, encourages and supports community involvement, and supports more than 200 organizations. ADTRAN is a two-time winner, having won a MOTY award in 2010.




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Medium Manufacturer of the Year (100 to 399 employees) Birmingham Fastener & Supply Inc., Birmingham

Birmingham Fastener & Supply Inc. has successfully built a manufacturing company by valuing customers and people, providing quality products with customer service, and emphasizing development of its people. Founded by the late Howard P. Tinney in 1980, Birmingham Fastener & Supply is the South’s largest and most diversified fastener supplier. It makes and distributes fasteners for structural steel fabrication, metal building manufacturers, transportation, water works and utilities, original equipment manufacturers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, construction and maintenance, and repair and operations industries. Birmingham Fastener & Supply provides two scholarships a year through Wallace State Community College, education assistance to employees, and partners with Workshops Inc. that focuses on training people with disabilities.




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Small Manufacturer of the Year (1 to 99 employees) Ecovery LLC, Loxley

Ecovery LLC in Loxley was formed in 2008 by Larry Sloan and Walter Norris originally to recycle and process electronic waste such as computers, televisions, and cell phones. In 2013, the company shifted to processing primarily copper and aluminum radiators from commercial and residential HVAC units. Ecovery LLC separates, shreds, and repackages the pure raw material to fit customer needs. Ecovery also melts aluminum flakes from the shredding operation and mixes it with other scrap to produce recycled secondary ingots. Ecovery has two plants that employed 66 men and women in 2017.




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AAMA Suppliers of the Year 2018 Announced




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Also announced were the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association 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.




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Supplier of the Year - Large Manufacturer (200+ employees) KAMTEK, Birmingham

KAMTEK whose parent company is Canada-based Magna International, is a leading global automotive supplier located in Jefferson County. In 2008, Magna purchased Ogihara, which supplied stamping and assembly products to Mercedes-Benz. Over the years, they had multiple expansions. Recently, the aluminum die casting facility opened to produce lightweight parts. An upcoming expansion will enable KAMTEK to make engine cradles for an upcoming Mercedes- Benz vehicle. KAMTEK has grown beyond 1000 employees. It provides apprenticeship programs in collaboration with Jefferson State & Wallace State Community Colleges; supports numerous community projects through volunteerism & involvement; and has contributed millions that have impacted the local and state economy.





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Supplier of the Year - Large Manufacturer (200+ employees) Topre America, Cullman

In 2004, Topre America was launched in Cullman. It is a metal stamping parts producer for Nissan, Toyota and Honda. The Cullman location serves as the company's North America headquarters. It has over 600 employees (associates) in Alabama. Recently, announced an upcoming $80 million expansion to create 98 jobs. Topre America is a community leader in workforce development programs and projects. They upgrade the skills of the associates to improve their quality of life. They are a regular contributor to the community and Wallace State Community College Scholarship fund. Topre also offers an Apprenticeship Program for college students interested in automotive careers. Topre’s goal is to be recognized as an industry supportive of the Cullman community.




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Supplier of the Year - Large Manufacturer (200+ employees) WKW Erbsloeh North America Inc., Pell City

WKW Erbsloeh North America, LLC (WENA) manufactures aluminum trim and functional components as well as roof railing systems in St. Clair County. It is also the North American headquarters for WKW Automotive from Germany. WENA started in 2008. Over the years they have had the great technology & innovation. With much tenacity, change, teamwork, leadership, and understanding the German-American cultural differences, it is enabling WENA to create an impressive footprint in the automotive supply industry with its customers like Mercedes, BMW, GM, and Volkswagen. WENA has over 450 employees (associates). They support workforce development through apprenticeship programs with Jefferson State Community College & tuition reimbursement for the associates. WENA supports the community, and makes significant economic impact to Pell City and St Clair County. WENA’s goal is to be “the preferred employer in Pell City”.




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Supplier of the Year - Small Manufacturer (1 to 99 employees) Shoals Extrusion, Florence

Shoals Extrusion, LLC was founded by Wade Gilchrist and Jim Cunningham and started in 2016 with its two extrusion presses (one 6″ 1400T press and one 6″ 1250T press) in 75,000 sq. ft. They are meeting the needs of the niche market of aluminum extruder for small profiles. With 46 employees, they focus on safety, quality, leadership, and process improvements. Shoals emphases environmental & sustainability initiatives, community involvement, and people development (via its Leadership Academy). It is Shoals Extrusion’s focus to provide high quality aluminum extrusions on time and at a competitive price, produced in a safe team based manufacturing atmosphere.




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Service Provider of the Year Ōnin Group, Birmingham

The Ōnin Group is a Birmingham-based, privately held group of companies focused on people. The core business is staffing, where they are among the top two percent of domestic staffing companies in sales volume and rank as one of the SIA’s fastest growing staffing firms. Ōnin Group has over 290 employees (Ōninites) located throughout Alabama. In Workforce Development, they have provided “Ready To Work Programs” to 12 high schools. They are actively engaged in the community, and making economic impacts throughout the state. Within Onin, they have 3 key cultural elements: “Intrapreneur”, " "Values not rules," and “Development, not training”. Every Ōninite knows that if they help Ōnin grow and prosper, Ōnin will help them grow and prosper.


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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 Manufactures.

The Alabama Technology Network (ATN) 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 reginal 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 affiliated of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which provides hands-on assistance and training to smaller manufacturers.


The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) was formed in 2001 to provide a forum for interaction among automotive companies in Alabama, to share information among its members and to provide an awareness of manufacturing trends, techniques and concerns.