By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News Staff
Hudsonville, Michigan -- A Michigan moulder is getting ready to invest in Alabama, buying 26.6 acres of industrial property in Cullman and planning to build an injection moulding, assembly, and urethane foam production plant there.
Royal Technologies Corp. of Hudsonville, Michigan, has not set a date to start construction of a plant in Cullman, but said in an 18 Feb news release that buying land now means it will be ready to "expand quickly" once the economy rebounds.
Royal expects to hire 300 to 400 people in Cullman, located in northern Alabama between Huntsville and Birmingham. The region is home to automotive and aerospace manufacturing, said Peggy Smith, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency.
"The southeastern part of the US has shown tremendous manufacturing growth and we want to capture a portion of that business," said Jim Vander Kolk, owner and founder of Royal Technologies.
Economic officials estimated the investment at $30 million.
State and local government will help finance infrastructure improvements while the nearby Wallace State Community College will train local workers.
Royal is a supplier to the auto and office furniture industries and makes parts including interior trim, optical lenses and office seating. It now has 800 employees and three manufacturing sites in and around Hudsonville in addition to its corporate headquarters.
Alabama will give the company a regional site to serve its existing customers and supplement its Michigan operations, Vander Kolk said.