Hyundai wins state's Top Manufacturer award

The 2011 Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards were given to three Alabama manufacturing companies Monday and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama walked away with the Large Manufacturer of the Year award.

The awards are put on annually by the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and The Alabama Technology Network (ATN), in partnership with The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

Winning manufacturers are selected by an independent panel of judges who look for demonstrations of superior performance in the areas of customer focus, employee commitment, operational excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth and investment in training and retraining.

Large Manufacturer of the Year (400 or more employees)

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, Montgomery

The 2-million square foot Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility is one of the most modern automotive assembly plants in the world and is frequently recognized by well-respected trade and consumer publications for its quality vehicles. Hyundai's Alabama-built vehicles, the Sonata and the Elantra, have been recognized with multiple awards and accolades for various production characteristics including quality, value, safety and design. This $1 billion automotive assembly and manufacturing plant employs more than 2,500 people and is capable of producing 300,000 vehicles per year for the North American market.

Medium Manufacturer of the Year (100-399 employees)

Lafarge North America, Calera

Lafarge is the world leader in building materials and the Lafarge plant located in Calera is a leader in cement manufacturing in Alabama and the Southeast. The 1600-acre site employs 195 men and women and holds close to 25 percent of the market share in Alabama with a total annual production capacity of 1.5 million tons of cement. With an ongoing commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and customer satisfaction, the facility located in Calera is the flagship plant for Lafarge North America.

Small Manufacturer of the Year (1-99 employees)

Applied Chemical Technology, Florence

For 30 years, Applied Chemical Technology has built a reputation for innovative, groundbreaking technological development of the chemical processes and process equipment that is used around the world.  Equipment designed and built by Applied Chemical Technology is used in a broad array of industries, including the fertilizer industry, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, rocket and space fuels, and biomass. Applied Chemical Technology continues to affirm its dedication to innovation and excellence as well as its ongoing commitment to Florence and the state of Alabama.  In 2010, the company increased its work force by more than 10 percent, expanded its facilities, invested in new equipment and significant upgrades, and introduced new services in biomass and alternative energy technology.

Sustainability in Manufacturing Leadership Award

Electricfil Corporation, Elkmont

The Electricfil Corporation is the winner of the inaugural Sustainability in Manufacturing Leadership Award given by the Alabama Technology Network.  The award is presented to a company that is committed to reducing wastes, lowering energy intensity, and improving sustainability.  In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy created the E3 Initiative – Economy, Energy, and Environment – to help manufacturers across the nation adapt and thrive in a new business era focused on sustainability.  The Alabama E3 Initiative has assisted more than 30 manufacturers in the state.  Electricfil Corporation is an automotive supplier located in Elkmont that produces electronic sensors and engine seals and employs nearly 70 people.

The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly one million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.  Manufacturers comprise the largest single segment of BCA's membership.  BCA is Alabama's exclusive representative of the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Alabama Technology Network is a division of the Alabama College System, partnering with the University of Alabama System, Auburn University and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.  The network consists of 14 centers throughout the state to deliver training and technologies to existing industries with the goal of enhancing the global competitiveness of Alabama's manufacturers.  ATN is an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP).

The Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards program is an annual recognition of Alabama manufacturing enterprises that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability and work force relations.  The awards are presented in three size categories to ensure fair recognition of all applicants regardless of the size of their work force.