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2008 Silver Shovel Awards 3 to 10 Million Population

And in the 3 to 10 million population category, four states - Alabama, Indiana, and Maryland and Oklahoma (tied) - received Silver Shovel awards.

Jun/Jul 08
Alabama - More than 300 automotive-related companies - including Mercedes, Honda, and Hyundai - have operations in Alabama, a 286 percent increase over the last 15 years. Among those serving that industry, South Korea-based Sejin Co., a major manufacturer of molded auto parts, is opening a $30 million, 300-employee plant in Dadeville. Sejin Alabama will produce injection-molded interior and exterior parts for Hyundai, Kia, and other automobile manufacturers. And Hyundai supplier Mobis Alabama is investing $55.6 million and ramping up employment by 140 people in an expansion of its Montgomery chassis plant.

Alternative energy is a rapidly emerging industry in Alabama. Gulf Coast Energy, for example, is building a $75 million biodiesel and ethanol plant in Livingston. The company expects to produce about 100 million gallons of ethanol from wood waste when the plant is fully operational. Feedstock can consist of any carbon-based product such as wood, switch grass, corn stalks, or even household garbage.

Indiana - According to Manufacturers' News Inc., Indiana is ninth in the nation for manufacturing employment, with 11,022 manufacturers employing 661,733 workers. The state is well-known for transportation equipment, which represents 16 percent of the state's total manufacturing employment. A new Indiana University report indicates Indiana gained more than 5,000 jobs in 2007 created by foreign direct investment - mostly in the automotive manufacturing industry.

Several big automotive projects are leading the way. Chrysler Group and German transmission manufacturer Getrag are investing $455 million in Tipton County to build a new plant. "We appreciate the support from state and local officials in bringing this investment to Indiana," says Richard Chow-Wah, a vice president for Chrysler Group. "We will create a state-of-the art facility to manufacture fuel-efficient, dual-clutch transmissions." GETRAG has operational leadership of the plant that will ultimately employ 1,400.

And in other auto-related news, TS Tech North America has broken ground on a $32.8 million, 200,000-square-foot facility in New Castle that will produce about 800 seats per day for Honda. The incentive package from the state included up to $2.4 million in tax credits and $645,000 in grants.

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