Industrial manufacturing is thriving in northwest Alabama

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FLORENCE, Ala. – Communities across north Alabama and southern Tennessee are waiting to see what spin-off manufacturers come from the Mazda-Toyota project. While their fingers are crossed, economic development leaders in the Shoals are continuing to lure in more jobs and industry to the area.

Inside a vacant T-shirt mill from the early 1990s, huge ideas are coming to life in Florence. What might look like just another electric motor, is what developers say represents a breakthrough in technology.

“It’s an electric drive motor, that is also a generator,” explained Adventech CEO Ron Ballman. “It runs at half of the amp draw of any other motor under load, and it also generates power back into the grid.”

Adventech leadership cut the ribbon on their start-up facility Thursday morning. Chief Executive Officer Ron Ballman had the option to take his technology anywhere, but the Shoals is where he wanted to be.

“The workforce here is fantastic,” stated Ballman. “The location is fantastic, and the industrial companies in the area are a great opportunity for us to have a nice footprint on this market space, and it’s a nice launching point.”

In just 5 weeks, Adventech turned the empty warehouse into their corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility. They worked closely with the Shoals Economic Development Authority to make the dream a reality.

“We have a great workforce, a lot of blue-collar people that know how to get the job done. Ron knows that; so he wants to stick with what he knows,” said SEDA President Kevin Jackson.

Adventech plans to take the manufacturing industry by storm with their new technology. Economic leaders are happy they picked the Shoals area to do it.

Adventech says they will start operations with 30 employees, and they are already making plans to expand manufacturing in the next 18-to-24 months and employ 200.

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