The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

Rebuild Alabama plan: A giant leap for Alabama’s future

(S. Clouse/Contributed)

Imagine you are driving on a long road trip, and the warning light indicating a low oil level appears on your car’s instrument panel. As a result, you have two choices from which to choose – either pull over at the next exit and spend $5.00 for a quart of oil or keep driving until your engine blows and requires several thousand dollars of replacement costs.

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For decades, Alabama has been given warning signs that its road and bridge infrastructure was crumbling and in need of attention. Potholes plague major highways, accidents have become more frequent, and a frightening number of bridges have been deemed too unsafe for school buses carrying our children to cross.

Rather than addressing the infrastructure problems as they arose, Alabama ignored the warning indicators, and now the repair bill has grown exponentially.

Part of the problem is the fact our state’s pool of available transportation dollars, which are mostly generated by the earmarked gas taxes you pay at the pump, have shrunk over the past several years because more efficient cars use less fuel.

Even a cursory view of statistics backs up the veracity of these facts. A prominent study recently determined that roughly 50 percent of Alabama’s state highways are in “fair, poor or very poor” condition and gave an alarming “D+” grade to our state-maintained roadways.

In addition, Alabama has more than 1,200 structurally deficient bridges and nearly 2,500 weight restricted bridges across the state.

These deficiencies cause public safety to be threatened as it is estimated that one-third of all fatal car crashes in Alabama can be attributed to road conditions and features. Alabama also ranks fifth in the nation among states where “drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident.”

Economic development and job creation are hampered as a nationwide survey of corporate executives ranked roads and highways as the second most important factor when choosing among states to locate facilities. Seven of our sister southeastern states spend more money than Alabama to maintain their roads and bridges, and roughly 950,000 jobs in our state are completely dependent upon our transportation network.

All the facts, examples, and statistics lead to one reality – Alabama must raise additional earmarked revenue to maintain our roads and bridges.

The time has come for a plan that significantly addresses this critical problem plaguing our state.

I would like to commend Governor Kay Ivey for proposing her Rebuild Alabama plan. This plan will not only provide funding to address current road and bridge needs at the state, county and city level, but it provides our transportation system with stable funding to allow us to plan for the future of the next generation.

The Rebuild Alabama plan also provides strong accountability with the new revenue to ensure it goes to infrastructure projects only – no salaries, purchase or maintenance of equipment, or buildings. The new revenue will be placed in the newly created Rebuild Alabama Fund and will be prohibited from being transferred to other state agencies.

This level of accountability is what Alabamians require and deserve, and nothing less.

I would also like to applaud my friend and colleague, Rep. Bill Poole, for his continued commitment to this issue. By sponsoring the Rebuild Alabama Act in the Alabama House of Representatives, he is showing true political courage that he is not afraid to do the right thing for Alabama’s future.

For this reason, I am standing beside Rep. Poole in support of the Rebuild Alabama Act and I encourage all of my colleagues in the Alabama House of Representatives to do the same.

Together, we as a state can turn this obstacle into an opportunity.

The time to act is now, and I believe the Rebuild Alabama Act is the vehicle that will carry Alabama to new levels of progress, job creation, and economic prosperity for years to come. I invite you to come along for the ride.

By Representative Steve Clouse
Alabama House District 93

Rebuild Alabama plan: A giant leap for Alabama’s future

(S. Clouse/Contributed)

Imagine you are driving on a long road trip, and the warning light indicating a low oil level appears on your car’s instrument panel. As a result, you have two choices from which to choose – either pull over at the next exit and spend $5.00 for a quart of oil or keep driving until your engine blows and requires several thousand dollars of replacement costs.

581

For decades, Alabama has been given warning signs that its road and bridge infrastructure was crumbling and in need of attention. Potholes plague major highways, accidents have become more frequent, and a frightening number of bridges have been deemed too unsafe for school buses carrying our children to cross.

Rather than addressing the infrastructure problems as they arose, Alabama ignored the warning indicators, and now the repair bill has grown exponentially.

Part of the problem is the fact our state’s pool of available transportation dollars, which are mostly generated by the earmarked gas taxes you pay at the pump, have shrunk over the past several years because more efficient cars use less fuel.

Even a cursory view of statistics backs up the veracity of these facts. A prominent study recently determined that roughly 50 percent of Alabama’s state highways are in “fair, poor or very poor” condition and gave an alarming “D+” grade to our state-maintained roadways.

In addition, Alabama has more than 1,200 structurally deficient bridges and nearly 2,500 weight restricted bridges across the state.

These deficiencies cause public safety to be threatened as it is estimated that one-third of all fatal car crashes in Alabama can be attributed to road conditions and features. Alabama also ranks fifth in the nation among states where “drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident.”

Economic development and job creation are hampered as a nationwide survey of corporate executives ranked roads and highways as the second most important factor when choosing among states to locate facilities. Seven of our sister southeastern states spend more money than Alabama to maintain their roads and bridges, and roughly 950,000 jobs in our state are completely dependent upon our transportation network.

All the facts, examples, and statistics lead to one reality – Alabama must raise additional earmarked revenue to maintain our roads and bridges.

The time has come for a plan that significantly addresses this critical problem plaguing our state.

I would like to commend Governor Kay Ivey for proposing her Rebuild Alabama plan. This plan will not only provide funding to address current road and bridge needs at the state, county and city level, but it provides our transportation system with stable funding to allow us to plan for the future of the next generation.

The Rebuild Alabama plan also provides strong accountability with the new revenue to ensure it goes to infrastructure projects only – no salaries, purchase or maintenance of equipment, or buildings. The new revenue will be placed in the newly created Rebuild Alabama Fund and will be prohibited from being transferred to other state agencies.

This level of accountability is what Alabamians require and deserve, and nothing less.

I would also like to applaud my friend and colleague, Rep. Bill Poole, for his continued commitment to this issue. By sponsoring the Rebuild Alabama Act in the Alabama House of Representatives, he is showing true political courage that he is not afraid to do the right thing for Alabama’s future.

For this reason, I am standing beside Rep. Poole in support of the Rebuild Alabama Act and I encourage all of my colleagues in the Alabama House of Representatives to do the same.

Together, we as a state can turn this obstacle into an opportunity.

The time to act is now, and I believe the Rebuild Alabama Act is the vehicle that will carry Alabama to new levels of progress, job creation, and economic prosperity for years to come. I invite you to come along for the ride.

By Representative Steve Clouse
Alabama House District 93

Rebuild Alabama plan: A giant leap for Alabama’s future

(S. Clouse/Contributed)

Imagine you are driving on a long road trip, and the warning light indicating a low oil level appears on your car’s instrument panel. As a result, you have two choices from which to choose – either pull over at the next exit and spend $5.00 for a quart of oil or keep driving until your engine blows and requires several thousand dollars of replacement costs.

581

For decades, Alabama has been given warning signs that its road and bridge infrastructure was crumbling and in need of attention. Potholes plague major highways, accidents have become more frequent, and a frightening number of bridges have been deemed too unsafe for school buses carrying our children to cross.

Rather than addressing the infrastructure problems as they arose, Alabama ignored the warning indicators, and now the repair bill has grown exponentially.

Part of the problem is the fact our state’s pool of available transportation dollars, which are mostly generated by the earmarked gas taxes you pay at the pump, have shrunk over the past several years because more efficient cars use less fuel.

Even a cursory view of statistics backs up the veracity of these facts. A prominent study recently determined that roughly 50 percent of Alabama’s state highways are in “fair, poor or very poor” condition and gave an alarming “D+” grade to our state-maintained roadways.

In addition, Alabama has more than 1,200 structurally deficient bridges and nearly 2,500 weight restricted bridges across the state.

These deficiencies cause public safety to be threatened as it is estimated that one-third of all fatal car crashes in Alabama can be attributed to road conditions and features. Alabama also ranks fifth in the nation among states where “drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident.”

Economic development and job creation are hampered as a nationwide survey of corporate executives ranked roads and highways as the second most important factor when choosing among states to locate facilities. Seven of our sister southeastern states spend more money than Alabama to maintain their roads and bridges, and roughly 950,000 jobs in our state are completely dependent upon our transportation network.

All the facts, examples, and statistics lead to one reality – Alabama must raise additional earmarked revenue to maintain our roads and bridges.

The time has come for a plan that significantly addresses this critical problem plaguing our state.

I would like to commend Governor Kay Ivey for proposing her Rebuild Alabama plan. This plan will not only provide funding to address current road and bridge needs at the state, county and city level, but it provides our transportation system with stable funding to allow us to plan for the future of the next generation.

The Rebuild Alabama plan also provides strong accountability with the new revenue to ensure it goes to infrastructure projects only – no salaries, purchase or maintenance of equipment, or buildings. The new revenue will be placed in the newly created Rebuild Alabama Fund and will be prohibited from being transferred to other state agencies.

This level of accountability is what Alabamians require and deserve, and nothing less.

I would also like to applaud my friend and colleague, Rep. Bill Poole, for his continued commitment to this issue. By sponsoring the Rebuild Alabama Act in the Alabama House of Representatives, he is showing true political courage that he is not afraid to do the right thing for Alabama’s future.

For this reason, I am standing beside Rep. Poole in support of the Rebuild Alabama Act and I encourage all of my colleagues in the Alabama House of Representatives to do the same.

Together, we as a state can turn this obstacle into an opportunity.

The time to act is now, and I believe the Rebuild Alabama Act is the vehicle that will carry Alabama to new levels of progress, job creation, and economic prosperity for years to come. I invite you to come along for the ride.

By Representative Steve Clouse
Alabama House District 93

Alabama Business Spotlight: Birmingham manufacturing company operating in more than 100 countries worldwide

(Altec/Facebook)

Since President Trump took office in 2017, his agenda to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States has created a mini-renaissance in the industry, creating approximately 222,000 new jobs for Americans. Manufacturing companies are moving operations back to the United States as the economic environment becomes more favorable for businesses. As many organizations are bringing jobs back to the United States, one Alabama manufacturing company has been a steady source of employment for Americans for the last 89 years.

Altec, an equipment company based in Birmingham, was founded in 1929 by Lee Styslinger.

What began as a small truck equipment business has grown to become a leading provider of services and equipment in the electric utility, telecommunications, contractor, lights & signs and tree care markets. Altec now serves clients throughout the United States and in more than 100 countries.

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Altec played a key role in the development of mechanized equipment that helped to construct the electrical grid system in the United States. Before mechanized equipment, maintenance of the grid system required employees to climb electrical poles to repair power lines, a slow and dangerous task. Altec was instrumental in the effort to engineer and manufacture truck-mounted aerial equipment for the utility industry, which has allowed for power companies to rapidly
expand electrical power across the United States.

Altec’s reputation for creating innovative, high-quality products is recognized on a national level. Last year, Altec was chosen to represent Alabama at the Made in America event at the White House, which highlighted an American-made product from each of the 50 states. The event was a kick-off of President Trump’s initiative to highlight and celebrate the importance of manufacturing for economic growth in the United States and job creation opportunities for American workers.

“We were honored to be asked to help represent the outstanding manufacturers throughout the country at the ‘Made in America’ product showcase at the White House,” said Lee Styslinger III, current Altec Chairman and CEO. “I was particularly pleased with the event’s message to celebrate the American worker and the important contribution each of them makes to the success of this nation.”

Altec’s founder, Lee Styslinger Sr., moved from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Birmingham in 1929 to establish the company. He considered Birmingham the “Pittsburgh of the South,” as the steel and manufacturing markets were strong in both cities. Through technological advancements and forward-thinking leaders, Altec has been able to adapt to the changing industry, and continues to offer products tailored to meet their customers’ needs.

When describing the company’s accomplishments, Mark Wegel, Director of Public Affairs for Altec, said, “We have always maintained a commitment to total customer satisfaction and strive to be the industry leader in innovative product design and integrated safety features. We believe our people are our greatest strength and our customer is the main focus.”

Although Altec provides products and services on a global scale, the company is still committed to Alabama, and to seeing the business community thrive throughout the state. Altec is a member of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), and decided to join because of the BCA’s commitment to understanding and addressing the needs of businesses throughout the state.

“The BCA’s focus on job creation, economic development, ethics reform and positive change to the public education system make it an effective advocate for Alabama, and we’re proud be a partner,” said Wegel.

Altec’s undisputed success over the last century exemplifies an Alabama success story. The company has provided jobs, income, and stability to Alabamians throughout decades of political and economic transitions. Their innovative products meet the needs of customers around the world, and their continued presence in Alabama bolsters the state’s reputation for helping businesses prosper.

About the Business Council of Alabama: For more than three decades, the Business Council of Alabama has been Alabama’s foremost voice for business, standing up for Alabama businesses that are the job creators and innovators driving our state’s economy. Through this Business Spotlight Series, the BCA tells the stories of these businesses that proudly call Alabama home and in the process, we hope to show why we work hard every day making a sweet home for
business. For more information about the BCA, please visit their website.