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 on April 18 at the Alabama Activity Center.
The Manufacturers of the Year in the large, medium, and small manufacturer categories, respectively, are ADTRAN Inc. in Huntsville, Birmingham Fastener & Supply Inc. in Birmingham, and Ecovery LLC in Loxley. ADTRAN was a MOTY award winner in 2010.
The 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.
“The annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards seek 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.”
Governor Kay Ivey was the 2018 MOTY Awards keynote speaker.
“From automobiles to aerospace to everyday products and equipment, whether for our own use or for export around the globe, Alabama’s manufacturers create high-quality jobs and produce substantial economic benefits,” Governor Ivey said. “Our manufacturers are very important to us and we are committed to helping them succeed and thrive.”
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.
ATN Executive Director Keith Phillips said the companies acknowledged today represent the best in Alabama manufacturing and the use of technology. “Now in its 19th 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,” Phillips said.
Jeff Lynn, vice chancellor for the Alabama Community College System’s Workforce and Economic Development, said manufacturing workforce development has never been more important.
“Education and skills training are the keys to economic success, individual prosperity, and a great quality of life,” Lynn said. “We are dedicated to education and training partnerships that parallel ongoing industry recruitment initiatives as well as responding to existing manufacturers that need skill upgrades for expanded markets or process improvement training to make them more profitable.”
BCA Chairman Perry Hand, chairman of Volkert Inc. in Mobile, recognized MOTY finalists for 2018.
The 2018 Manufacturers of the Year are:
Large Manufacturer of the Year – 400 or more employees: 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.
Medium Manufacturer of the Year – 100 to 399 employees: 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.
Small Manufacturer of the Year – 1 to 99 employees: 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.