Existing Industry Expansions Driving Growth in Northwest Alabama
In the last 12 months, existing manufacturers in Northwest Alabama have created over 300 net new jobs and invested over $150 million in expansion projects – and that only includes expansion projects that were assisted by Northwest Alabama EDA.
Companies that have expanded recently in our region include SHOWA Group (nitrile gloves) in Fayette, Bolzoni Auramo (forklift parts) in Sulligent, Trachte Building Systems/Roof Mart (outdoor building solutions) in Vernon, and Brown Wood Preserving (utility poles) in Kennedy. Additional industry expansions are in the pipeline.
SHOWA Group, a fully integrated manufacturer of industrial, household, and medical PPE gloves, is undergoing a major facility expansion that will triple production capacity to meet the growing demand for PPE gloves. The phased buildout of two additional facilities will increase SHOWA’s annual domestic production capacity to 1.2 billion gloves by the end of 2022, and 2.8 billion gloves once the buildout is complete. SHOWA is the only integrated manufacturer of nitrile, single-use PPE gloves with full U.S. onshore capabilities. SHOWA’s expansion was partly driven by an $81.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). The FDA recently granted 510(k) approval for SHOWA Group’s biodegradable gloves.
Other major employers in the area include homebuilders, lumber mills, metal fabricators, various distributors and suppliers to the automotive and housing industries. Over 30% of Northwest Alabama’s workforce are employed in manufacturing operations.