2016 JASA annual meeting: local companies recognized for achievements

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 Cullman EDA

Topre America accepts the plaque at the Japan America Society of Alabama annual dinner May 19 for the $8.5 million expansion at the Cullman facility during 2015. Pictured are, from left, JASA First Vice President Forrest Keith of Daiken America, Topre Director of Manufacturing Brad Pepper, Topre Human Resources Manager Natalie Caudle, Topre Senior Vice President Hiroki Fujiwara, Alabama Department of Commerce Assistant Director of Business Development Hollie Pegg, Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Peggy Smith and Cullman Economic Development Agency Assistant Director Dale Greer.


HUNTSVILLE – Three Cullman manufacturers were honored at the 27th Annual Japan America Society of Alabama (JASA) dinner held May 19 in Huntsville for industrial expansions during 2015.

Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, Topre America and Cullman Casting were all recognized and presented with plaques in the JASA ceremony at the Westin Hotel.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama was the premier hosting sponsor for the annual dinner that salutes the contributions Japanese companies make to Alabama. Master of Ceremonies Mike Ladd of Daiken America in Decatur said the Alabama Department of Commerce reported 19 new and expanding Japanese companies invested $365,880,325 in 2015 and announced the creation of 704 new jobs.

Ladd said there are 144 Japanese manufacturers located in Alabama that provide jobs to over 18,000 workers in the state. Japan ranks among the top five countries doing business with Alabama.

Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Peggy Smith, a member of the JASA board, noted that Cullman had more expanding Japanese companies than any other community in Alabama. “Cullman is extremely proud of the growth of our local companies,” Smith said

Topre invested $8.5 million in an expansion last year. Yutaka spent $2.8 million and recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary in Cullman. Cullman Casting reinvested $300,000 in their facility. Representatives of Yutaka and Topre were on hand to accept their plaques. Cullman Casting officials were unable to attend.