Target Industry: Battery Manufacturing
With the recent announcement by Westwater Resources of a $124 million investment into an advanced graphite processing plant, the Lake Martin Area has a reached a critical mass in momentum for industries in the graphite processing and battery manufacturing industry.
The graphite plant in Lake Martin is expected to employ at least 100 full-time, permanent workers. The plant’s processing of graphite is a strength as graphite a key component in lithium-ion batteries, as well as a conductivity enhancer for all types of batteries, including the common lead-acid batteries in traditional vehicles.
“This plant not only will make Alabama the U.S. leader in graphite production, the go-to place for this important resource in battery manufacturing, it also will elevate our standing even more as a major player in the fast-growing electric vehicle sector.”
Governor Kay Ivey
Sampling of Battery and Support Companies in the Lake Martin Area
Battery & Support Companies
|Westwater Resources||Advanced graphite processing plant|
|Wingfield Engineering||Controls and fabrication manufacturer|
|Korens, Inc.||EGR coolers/automotive manufacturer|
|Sejin America, Inc.||Injection molding automotive parts manufacturer|
|Lake Martin Wellington||Metal stamping manufacturer|
|C&J Tech Alabama||Auto supplier manufacturer|
Battery Manufacturing Facilities in the Lake Martin Area
Based on a supply chain analysis conducted by Next Move Group, the Lake Martin area has considerable advantages in the following battery manufacturing-related industries:
- All Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing:
244% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
- Nonferrous Metal Die-Casting Foundries:
47% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
- Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing:
26% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
- All Other Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing:
10% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
- Mineral Wool Manufacturing:
9% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
- Cut Stone and Stone Product Manufacturing:
5% growth in the Lake Martin area in the last 5 years
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN ALABAMA AND THE LAKE MARTIN AREA
Foreign direct investment in Alabama’s rural counties has brought in approximately $1.5 billion through growth projects with more than 3,800 job commitments, according to Alabama Department of Commerce data.
Countries such as South Korea, Canada, Japan, Germany, Finland, Brazil, and Ireland have found their way to rural Alabama. The Lake Martin region alone attracted more than $155 million in foreign investment between 2015-2019, generating almost 600 jobs. South Korea-based auto suppliers are keen on portions of the Lake Martin area, as these cities are located between a Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama, and a Kia plant right across state lines in Georgia. In 2019, three Korean auto suppliers expanded in Tallapoosa County through projects involving more than $58 million in investments.
Westwater said its Alabama Graphite Products LLC subsidiary plans to make an initial investment of $80 million or more the build the graphite processing plant in Kellyton, near Alexander City. A second phase of the project will increase the total investment to $124 million.
Centennial, Colorado based Westwater - a mineral resources company committed to exploring and developing materials for clean, sustainable energy production - said construction will start later the year, with the graphite processing plant operating by the end of 2022.
"This plant will make Alabama the U.S. leader in graphite production, the go-to place for this important resource in battery manufacturing, it will also elevate our standing even more as a major player in the fast-growing electric vehicle sector," Governor Kay Ivey said.
C&J Tech Gets Grant to Aid $5M, 100-job expansion
Alexander City, Ala. (AP) - The state of Alabama is directing $300,000 in federal community development money to aid a $5 million, 100-job expansion by a South Korean auto supplier.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs announced Friday that it was giving the money to C&J Tech, which now employs 300 workers at its factory in Alexander City. C&J Tech makes plastic molding for automobiles built by Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Toyota, Honda and others.
ADECA says the company plans to spend $5 million to expand a former Russell Corp. garment plant by 75,000 square feet (7,000 sq. meters). The state money and $248,000 from Alexander City will help relocate water and sewer lines from underneath a company parking lot where the expansion will be built.
Green Light in Dadeville, Sejin announces $15 million expansion, 36 new jobs
May 1, 2019
When Sejin was recruited to Dadeville in 2008, it started with 80 employees and the company originally estimated it would create 250 jobs and invest $20 million. Those numbers will grow to 600 jobs and $75 million by the time the new equipment is in place by Dec. 31, Kim said.
Sejin's original building, which has already been expanded twice, is 240,000 square feet and a newer building, which has been expanded once, is 100,000 square feet. its top three customers are, in order, Hyundai, Kia, Hyundai Mobis and Volkswagen, according to Kim.
Proximity to Major Markets
The Lake Martin area is within proximity to multiple major markets, including:
- Atlanta, GA
- Miami and Tampa, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- Austin, Houston, and Dallas, TX
- Chicago, IL
- St. Louis, MO
- Charlotte, NC
- Detroit, MI
- Washington D.C.
When It Comes to Activities at Lake Martin, There’s More Than Just Boating!
The table below outlines the average salary range for the targeted subindustries, showing that the region and its residents can highly benefit from increasing opportunities in these areas.
All Other Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
Other Industrial Machinery Manufacturing
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing
All Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
Metal Coating, Engraving (except Jewelry and Silverware), and Allied Services to Manufacturers
All Other Miscellaneous Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing
All Other Miscellaneous General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing
Nonferrous Metal Die-Casting Foundries
11,121 People Drive Outside of the Lake Martin Area for Work, Every Day
This map shows that 4,893 people travel to Lake Martin area daily for work, proving that a good employer can draw labor from a wide radius. Additionally, this map shows that 11,121 people drive from the Lake Martin area to work in other regions, daily. Many of these 11,121 workers will consider working in the Lake Martin area, as more jobs are created.
In the region surrounding and including the Lake Martin area, manufacturing is the largest sector, employing 34,532 workers. Additionally, the sector has the second largest concentration in the area in comparison to the national average, with an average salary of $52,973.
Workforce Training Programs
Alabama Technology Network (ATN)
Offers primarily manufacturing workforce development courses.
State-level workforce training program that provides free training for area businesses:
- Pre-employment screening and training
- Leadership development
- Industrial safety program
- Industrial maintenance technician assessment program
Ready to Work (RTW)
Operated by the Alabama Community College System in cooperation with AIDT, RTW provides a career pathway for individuals with limited educational and employment experience. Training mirrors the needs of Alabama’s industries and businesses and is free to participants.
Edward Bell Career Center
Provides the students in Tallapoosa County with training for high-skill, high-demand occupations that mirror local business and industry needs.
Colleges & Universities
Auburn University is just 30 minutes from the Lake Martin area and is home to one of the nation’s top 20 engineering programs, by the number of program graduates. The University has been ranked #1 multiple times for being one of the best in terms of value and offerings. Some of the manufacturing-related programs, as part of both the Samuel Ginn College and the College of Science and Mathematics, include:
- Materials engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Chemistry and biochemistry
- Chemical engineering
- Electrical and computer engineering
- Industrial and systems engineering
- Wireless engineering
Central Alabama Community College (CACC)
Provides academic and technical degree programs for high-paying industries, including manufacturing industry-specific workforce training programs such as:
- Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
- Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
- Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tender, Metal and Plastic
- Automotive Manufacturing Technology
- Industrial Electronics Technology
- Machine Shop
The College also offers three manufacturing focal areas that teaches students planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products, as well as related professional and technical support activities, such as production planning and control, maintenance, and manufacturing and process engineering:
- Maintenance, installation, and repair
- Quality assurance, inspection, and testing
Troy University is located 2 hours from the Lake Martin area. For 15 consecutive years, Troy University has been named to The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” list. The University has multiple locations throughout the state, programs for international students, and dual enrollment for high school students, and international support programs. Troy has two programs that apply to the manufacturing sector:
- Electronics Engineering Technology- exposes students to modern electronic circuits and devices
- Occupational Education- allows students to transform their current skills and education into a specified career path- fully online program
Alabama State University
One of the nation’s oldest HBCUs, located in Montgomery, approximately 1.5 hours from the Lake Martin area. The University offers both in-person and online delivery formats for a variety of programs, ranging from business administration to technology engineering and mathematics.
The Lake Martin Area is connected to Birmingham via Highway 280 and Interstates 65 and 85. The region is also directly connected to Montgomery by way of Highway 231. Additionally, both Auburn, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia are 1-2 hours away, via Highway 280. The Lake Martin area is connected to Mississippi by Interstate 20, Tennessee by way of Interstate 65, and to both Georgia and Florida by Interstate 75, making the region a prime location to do business.
- Tallapoosa County is approximately 6 miles from HWY 280, and 30 miles from HWY 231
- Coosa County is approximately 14 miles from both HWY 231, and HWY 280
- Tallapoosa County is 26 miles from I-85, 53 miles from I-20
- Coosa County is approximately 22 miles from I-65, 52 miles from I-85, and 45 miles from I-20
- One of the nation’s premier transportation companies
- Operating in 22 states and the District of Columbia
- Largest carrier of metals and automotive products in North America
- Serving every major container port in the eastern US
City of Dadeville
Located within Tallapoosa County, just an hour northeast of Montgomery.
Goodwater Water & Sewer Board
City of Dadeville
Located within Tallapoosa County, just an hour northeast of Montgomery
Owns or operates 77 electric generating units with total nameplate capacity of more than 12 million kilowatts, offering a variety of power options throughout the state.
Featured Real Estate
- Russell Former Screenprint Building
- 177,766 sq ft, 14.1 acres
- Industrial building
- Kwang Sung America
- 40,000 sq ft, 7 acres
- Industrial building
- Lake Martin Regional Industrial Park
- 327 acres
- Industrial site
- 295 Acres
- 2450 Hillabee Road
- Industrial site
- William Thweatt Industrial Park
- 150 acres
- Industrial site
- New Site Building
- 5.19 acres
- Industrial building
Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive
Tax Incentive Reform Act Ad Valorem Tax Abatement
Corporate Income Tax
Business Privilege Tax
State Unemployment Tax
Sales and Use Tax
Current Use Exemption
Enterprise Zone Tax Program
Favored Geographic Areas Program
Income Tax Capital Credit
Workforce Grant Opportunities
Incumbent Worker Training Grant (IWTP)
Existing Industry Training Program (EITP)
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
On the Job Training (OJT)