Governor Riley launches Alabama E3 initiative

VANCE, AL - Governor Bob Riley visited the Mercedes-Benz training center to announce the launch of a pilot program aimed at helping Alabama automotive suppliers to improve their economic, energy and environmental performance.

The program – called Alabama E3 (Economy, Energy, Environment) – will coordinate technical assistance programs offered at the federal, state and local levels that help companies maximize their energy efficiency, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and train employees in using "green" manufacturing practices.

"In this challenging economy, we must use innovation, collaboration and all available tools to help our manufacturers gain a competitive advantage.  The result will be a stronger and healthier economy for Alabama with more jobs and less energy consumption," said Governor Riley.

The initiative is supported by a strong group of public and private sector partners, including five federal agencies, several state agencies, the Alabama Power Company, the Alabama Gas Corporation, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association and the Business Council of Alabama.

In addition, the cities of Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa have signed on as partners.  Alabama E3 will initially focus on 15 automotive suppliers around these cities, with more suppliers to be added later.

The program will harness existing resources and expertise to provide the companies with customized assessments of their production processes, implement projects that reduce energy consumption and increase productivity, and train workers in environmentally-friendly manufacturing practices.

Leaders from the U.S. Small Business Administration will also visit each facility and provide information about services, training and assistance available to help purchase new energy efficient systems and equipment.

"This will make Alabama stand out as a leader among states in this new era that demands economic and resource efficiency," said Governor Riley. "With a focus on economic development, energy performance and environmental stewardship, we can strengthen our industries, promote sustainable growth and become a more competitive state."