(Photo courtesy of REHAU)
CULLMAN, Ala. – REHAU’s Cullman location is celebrating its 25th birthday by announcing plans to expand its plant. The expansion plan is expected to cost $50 million for new production equipment and tooling, and will involve significant rearrangement within the plant facility. This project was prompted by a contract win for REHAU to build exterior polymer-based components for Mercedes-Benz SUV models.
With Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Kenneth Boswell, City of Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, Cullman County Commission Chairman Jeff Clemmons, REHAU representatives, local officials and several press outlets in attendance, Dale Greer, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, took the stage to welcome the honored guests and all present.
“REHAU’s growth in Cullman is a tribute to both the company, and the Cullman community. The plant has not only become an integral part of the community, its success has also played a significant role in making Alabama one of the largest automobile producing states in America,” Director Greer shared, as REHAU Plant Manager Dr. Venki Padmanabhan approached the podium.
Dr. Padmanabhan made the official announcement on the expansion project, revealing that it is expected to create 125 new jobs for the Cullman community, and sharing, “Twenty-five years ago, REHAU followed Mercedes-Benz AG to the U.S. from the Bavarian town of Rehau to Cullman, Alabama. We were one of their earliest partners in launching their first SUV. Now, we are honored and excited that they have placed their faith in us once again to support the launch of their new models.”
Governor Ivey made her remarks in representation of the State of Alabama, saying, “REHAU has played a vital role in the success of Alabama’s automotive industry for 25 years, and it is great to see the company expand its operation in Cullman. This expansion and the 125 new jobs it will create will be vital to Mercedes-Benz’s growth right here in sweet home Alabama. This investment shows that the Alabama-Germany partnership has never been stronger.”
This project’s outcome has allowed the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to provide a $700,000 grant to the city of Cullman. This will be put toward a $1 million road project to service the REHAU plant, and both the City and County Commission have committed to equally sharing the cost of the remaining $300,000 to resurface and rehabilitate 2 miles of 24th Street. This road serves for truck and employee traffic for REHAU, along with other industries in the area, and will be undergoing construction later this year.
“From its beginnings in 1996, REHAU’s Cullman plant has provided important support for Alabama’s automotive industry, as well as good-paying careers for many Alabamians. Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is pleased to have played a role in the success and expansion of the company through infrastructure grants to the city of Cullman. We congratulate REHAU, not only on 25 years of operation in Cullman, but also on its continued success and expansion into new lines, which will create even more jobs,” said Director Boswell.
Cullman County Commission Chairman Jeff Clemons also spoke, saying, “REHAU continues to prosper in Cullman County and provide quality jobs. Jobs are important and REHAU has been one of the largest manufacturing employers here for years. I am honored the County and City can work together to help support this project expansion.”
Contributing to a local qualified workforce, is the support of Wallace State Community College’s machine tool technology curriculum. These community resources, combined with the firm’s reputation for world-class quality and technical excellence have built REHAU into the second largest manufacturing firm, and the seventh largest employer in Cullman.
City Mayor Woody Jacobs shared, “One thing about being around for a while is that you get to be a part of projects like this when they start. Obviously, I was honored to do that, too. – Companies can grow where they have a quality labor force and a supportive community. REHAU enjoys a great reputation worldwide for quality and innovation. I believe the Cullman facility contributes to those high standards. We are excited about REHAU’s continued success here.”
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