Both Arkay Plastics Inc. and Wright Plastics Co. have selected Prattville, Ala., as the site for new processing facilities. Atlanta-based Wright announced plans to build a 95,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility in two phases, the first of which will cost an estimated $15 million and initially employ 30 people.
Wright extrudes polyethylene film and manufactures industrial packaging, including bags and coverings for carpet rolls, mattresses and other products. It employs 100.
Winton Blount III, owner of Wright, said the company plans to expand its product lines and markets.
``We're moving toward a much higher standard of quality and more value-added products that include printing such as bank security envelopes and converter films,'' he said.
Blount, a Montgomery, Ala., businessman, purchased the 34-year-old Wright Plastics in 1989. He said the Prattville site met all the company's requirements, such as rail access and an available labor pool.
``The community bent over backwards to help us move on this quickly and get things taken care of,'' Blount said, adding that he expects the plant to be operational by July.
A second phase - planned in the next three to five years - will cost an additional $15 million to $20 million and increase the facility's employment to 100.
``We have the ability to build an exact replica of the 88,000 square feet of manufacturing space onto the present building,'' Blount said.
Blount said the fact that two other plastics processors located adjacent to his site was another plus. Plaxicon Co., a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., producer of plastic containers, located a 46,000-square-foot plant in Prattville in 1988.
Construction also is under way on a processing plant for Arkay Plastics, a subsidiary of Miamisburg, Ohio-based Arkay Industries Inc.
The plant will produce dashboards and consoles for Mercedes-Benz automobiles being produced at a plant near Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Officials at Arkay declined to comment on the facility, except to confirm its construction.
Arkay operates two plants in Paris, Ill., a plant in Belcamp, Md., one in Monroe, Ohio, and a technical center in Miamisburg. It specializes in molding components for the automotive industry.
Deborah McGill, director of Economic Development for the Prattville area Chamber of Commerce, said that both companies have taken advantage of the Alabama Industrial Development training program which assists companies with training employees.
Local incentives for the companies include 10-year tax abatements, except taxes for education, and sales and use tax abatements on the purchase of new equipment during the startup phases.
Both companies also received the incentive of a rail spur to their facilities. Arkay also received a grant to build a direct-access road from the plant to Highway 82, which puts the plant three miles from the major interstate highway.
Wright also will receive a grant for a direct-access industrial road to its plant.
Arkay's plant is 50,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in late March.
McGill said Prattville plans to actively seek out plastics companies looking for a Southeastern location, now that it has a base of three plastics companies located adjacent to each other.
``We're currently working with state agencies and local vocational schools, high schools and junior high schools to promote the plastics industry as a good source of jobs to build a strong labor pool for plastics companies in this area,'' McGill said.
The groups want to implement hands-on training programs for students, with the help of local companies that can donate equipment.