Trendco investing $43 million in Macon County

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On Thursday, Trendco USA announced plans to invest $43 million to launch a nitrile medical glove manufacturing operation in the new Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park in Macon County. The company plans to create 292 jobs over five years at its new facility. South Carolina-based Trendco also considered sites in Georgia and the Carolinas for the project.

Darryl Hunter is the CEO of Trendco USA.

“We are very excited about our move to Alabama and look forward to building our PPE manufacturing facility in Tuskegee,” said Hunter. “We believe the people of Tuskegee and the surrounding communities will play a vital role in our success in the medical technology sector.”

Trendco is an early-stage company that has been producing medical-grade examination gloves in Louisiana through a partnership with another company.

The company plans up to install as many as 10 glove production lines at the REAL Park location in Tuskegee. Once these lines are established, the company plans to expand production into masks and gowns, ensuring a reliable domestic source for these important PPE items to mitigate potential supply chain disruptions. The recent COVID-19 global pandemic and the global shortages in PPE that resulted

“Trendco decided to locate its manufacturing facility in Tuskegee after considering many locations in other states, and I know that the company made the right choice by selecting Macon County for its investment project,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “I look forward to seeing the company grow and thrive in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Economic developer Dr. Nicole Jones told Alabama Today, “When a company grows rapidly and needs to choose a new location to manufacture its product or provide services, having a building ‘ready’ is a tremendous advantage in the site selection process because it reduces or eliminates many of the unknowns associated with construction timelines. The initial 168,000 square foot, Class A warehouse, and manufacturing spec building (Building 100), part of a multi-phase project, helped make the site selection process more efficient.

Trendco has signed an agreement to lease over 100,000 square feet of space in Building 100 in REAL Park. There the company will initially set up a distribution operation as it ramps up its new glove manufacturing lines. Trendco is seen as a catalyst project for the new 700-acre Class A industrial park located off Exit 42 on I-85.

“REAL Park, located near the interstate, has a capacity to eventually expand into 6 million square feet. As qualified companies such as Trendco USA lease within the park, the long-term economic benefits for Macon County and our entire state will be profound,” Jones explained.

Justin Patwin is a principal at Farpoint Development – the master developer leading the project.

“REAL Park will eventually offer a combined 6.2 million square feet of space when the project’s three phases are completed in five to seven years,” Patwin said. “We and our partners at OPAL are very excited to welcome Trendco to REAL Park. They are making a significant commitment to Macon County and the State of Alabama to bring many new jobs to the community — we feel this is an incredible start to the overall economic impact REAL Park will have in the region.”

Alex Flachsbart is the founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) and the principal of the Opal Fund – the lead investor in Building 100.

“We created The OPAL Fund to invest in catalytic projects that could produce compelling returns for both investors and communities across Alabama, and Building 100 is the perfect example of that thesis in action,” explained CEO Flachsbart.

Greg Canfield is the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“The park is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growth of the I-85 corridor, and I believe other companies will be putting down roots there in the near future,” Canfield said. “We believe the people of Tuskegee and the surrounding communities will play a vital role in our success in the medical technology sector.”

The Macon County Commission, Macon County Economic Development Authority, and other local institutions are supporting the Trendco project with utility upgrades and industrial access roads at the site worth $1.1 million, and other in-kind services.

Joe Turnham is the director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.

“Trendco USA also chose our community, in part because of our community’s rich history and our local stakeholders’ spirit of enthusiastic partnership in assuring their company’s success,” Turnham said.

AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, is also providing services to advance the project.

Brenda Tuck is the Rural Development Manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“We’re committed to seeing rural Alabama fully realize its growth potential, and this project headed to Tuskegee is another illustration of how we’re making progress on that front,” Tuck said. “Opportunities are flourishing in the state’s rural communities, and the business world is paying attention.”

“Trendco USA is the only minority-owned medical glove and PPE manufacturer in America and is one of the few companies offering ‘Made in the USA’ medical glove products,” Turnham said. “Now, these gloves will also carry a ‘Made in Tuskegee’ label.”

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