Sealaska Corp. is expanding its base of minority-owned manufacturing by acquiring a majority stake in a Nypro Inc. plant to create Nypro Kanaak Alabama.
Both Sealaska and Clinton, Mass.-based Nypro will benefit because customers are looking for minority-owned suppliers - what the firms are calling ``diversity suppliers.''
``There is a growing demand for diversity suppliers across all market sectors,'' said Russell Dick, Sealaska director of diversity solutions, in a news release. ``Nypro Kanaak continues to meet that distinct need.''
Juneau, Alaska-based Sealaska and Nypro made the announcement Sept 1. This marks the third facility that Sealaska has majority ownership in combination with Nypro. The other facilities, which are considered Nypro Kanaak facilities, are in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Nypro Kanaak Alabama has one plant in Dothan, Ala., which employs more than 100 and operates 32 molding machines, as well as a mold making and maintenance shop. It offers such services as high cavitation and coinjection molding and secondary automation.
According to the partners, Nypro Kanaak is one of the largest minority-certified injection molders in the U.S. packaging market. The venture generates more than $50 million in annual sales and employs 650.
Sealaska's Kanaak Corp. subsidiary is certified as a minority-owned business by the National Minority Supplier Development Council in New York.
``Nypro and our largest customers are excited that the Sealaska joint venture is receiving such strong acceptance in the marketplace, because socially and from a business perspective, working with minority-certified businesses is the right thing to do,'' Ted Lapres, president and chief executive officer of Nypro, said in a news release.
Nypro spokesman Al Cotton said diversity supply is especially important in dealing with federal contracts and big consumer companies, both of which have stressed keeping a diversified supplier base and allocating a certain percentage of business each year to minority companies.
Cotton said that packaging and consumer products are growing markets in this area.
NMSDC, started in 1972, claims that members increase their sales every year. Nettie Seaberry, director of the minority business information center, said that the group reported purchasing activity for members of $87.4 billion in 2004.
Sealaska is the largest regional native firm in Alaska with 17,300 Alaskan native shareholders, comprising members of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples.