Michigan-based Shape Corp. announced it will open a new injection molding and roll forming operation in the north Alabama city of Athens, expanding the company’s network of global manufacturing facilities.
Shape engineers, tests and manufactures metal and plastic components in North America, Europe and Asia for an array of industries, including automotive, office furniture, medical, agriculture and more. The family owned company, founded in 1974, has more than 3,000 employees and facilities in the U.S., Mexico, France, Czech Republic, China and Japan
“The Shape project will bring 170 jobs to our community,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said. “This $24 million investment by Shape Corp. shows that Athens continues to be attractive to industries.”
Shape plans to begin construction in late October on the new manufacturing building, which should be operational in late summer 2016. The facility location is a 34-acre site in the Breeding Industrial Park on Roy Long Road in Athens, according to the Limestone County Economic Development Association.
“I am honored that Shape Corp. has selected Alabama as the home of their new manufacturing facility, and I am proud of our state’s resources that helped secure this exciting new company,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Alabama’s Robotics Technology Park and AIDT’s workforce training services were two key factors in securing Shape’s commitment to a long-term partnership with our state.
“Alabama’s existing workforce, workforce training capabilities and pro-business infrastructure are all critical components in my endeavor to bring new jobs to Alabama,” he added.
The recruitment of “Project Roll,” as it was codenamed, reflected Alabama’s teamwork approach to economic development, with several state and local agencies joining forces with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the North Alabama Industrial Development Association. AIDT, a division of the Alabama Department of Commerce that serves as the state’s primary job-training agency, played a prominent role in the recruitment.
AIDT’s Robotics Technology Park, a one-of-a-kind training facility near Decatur, and Calhoun Community College served to demonstrate the area’s top-notch industrial workforce capabilities, said Tom Hill, president of the Limestone County EDA.
The Athens City Council and the Limestone County Commission was set to approve the agreement with Shape today in a joint session.
“The City of Athens and Limestone County have a great working relationship, and when you have these good relations, you can make progressive things happen for our community,” Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough said.