MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
In the bitter cold Tuesday morning Medline Industries warmed the hearts of Prattville city leaders and residents by breaking ground on its new $16 million dollar distribution center on County Road 4 just off Highway 31 South.
"They're going to use their own money which means they want to be here and as we say in Alabama, 'they have a dog in this fight,' said Autauga County Probate Judge Al Booth who served as the opening speaker for the ceremony.
Company officials say Medline is the country's largest privately-held manufacturer of healthcare products. It serves medical institutions like hospitals and nursing homes.
"We make thousands of products ranging from textiles (gowns/scrubs), skin care, surgical trays and advanced wounded care products," said Medline Industries CFO Bill Abington.
Medline's history goes back more than 90 years, headquartered near Chicago, Illinois.
As of today the company is debt-free and worth around $4 billion. All this means there's potential for more growth. Right now the focus is getting the center built and hire 30 workers.
"Medline will serve all of Alabama and west Florida," said Prattville Mayor Jim Byard.
The payroll will eventually grow to 40 employees.
What makes getting this company sweet for Prattville is the fact the city of 35,000 beat out several other states and a half-dozen cities for the distribution center.
As part of the deal Prattville gave Medline the 30 acres the city owned, no property taxes for 10 years, that is property taxes not related to education and Prattville leaders agreed to provide sewer and water lines to the property at no cost to Medline.
"Prattville was the only city that flew up to Chicago and took a look at our headquarters and visited our distribution center," said Abington who said that was more or less the deal-maker for them.
This is Medline's first shop in Alabama. The goal for now is to have the distribution facility up and running by next summer.
Medline tells WSFA 12 News it doesn't have a timeline for hiring the initial batch of 30 workers but indicated it could be soon.
Medline says it employs nearly 7,000 people just in North America along with 32 distribution centers and 13 manufacturing plants around the world.