$500K grant official for Reliance Worldwide expansion

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Gov. Kay Ivey (center), accompanied by (left to right) Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer, Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, former CEDA Director and current Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Interim President and CEO Peggy Smith and Reliance Worldwide Corporation Americas CEO Sean McClenaghan, breaks ground at the site of Reliance Worldwide’s new distribution facility in Cullman Monday morning, Oct. 5, 2020. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday officially awarded a previously announced $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help Cullman’s Reliance Worldwide expand its distribution center. Once the expansion is completed, Reliance Worldwide, which produces water control and plumbing products, will occupy more than 1.1 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution space and employ nearly 500 people in Cullman. Ivey said the company will hire at least 50 new employees.

Reliance Worldwide back in October 2020 officially announced and broke ground on the 300,000-square-foot distribution center to be located on an 81-acre site off Cherokee Avenue in southwest Cullman. Ivey, who earlier awarded $100,000 in CDBG funds in relation to the expansion, was on hand in Cullman in October for groundbreaking ceremonies.

“Reliance Worldwide is an Alabama success story that is being sold across the globe with its products,” Ivey said. “I am so thankful to have companies like Reliance Worldwide set up shop in Alabama and employ our people. I am pleased to support this expansion and the related job opportunities for Alabamians.”

The City of Cullman will use CDBG funds to construct an access road and fire-loop accessibility road to offer fire protection for the new facility.

After acquiring Cash Acme less than 20 years ago, Reliance Worldwide has invested more than $100 million in its Cullman complex which includes four manufacturing sites and multiple distribution centers.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“ADECA is pleased to support Gov. Ivey’s goal of making quality jobs available to every Alabamian, and Reliance Worldwide has certainly helped to increase employment opportunities in the Cullman area through its quality production of products and ever-growing facilities,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

The City of Cullman is supplying a local match of $100,000.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com