Ecore International plans to invest $25.5 million to open a state-of-the-art manufacturing and recycling facility in the Southeast Alabama city of Ozark, where it will create 84 jobs, according to Governor Kay Ivey.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Ecore specializes in transforming reclaimed materials into high-performance flooring and surface products. The privately held company is the largest converter of reclaimed rubber in North America, and its largest raw material is scrap truck tires.
“Ecore International is a great addition for Alabama’s business community, and its decision to locate an advanced manufacturing and recycling facility in Dale County will have a major economic impact on the rural area,” Governor Ivey said.
“This project in Ozark will bring good manufacturing jobs to the citizens there and spark new opportunities throughout the region.”
As part of the project, Ecore is purchasing an existing building in Ozark, which it will equip to reclaim the rubber from used truck tires and use the rubber to manufacture flooring and surfacing products.
The 84 new full-time positions will pay an average annual salary of nearly $42,500, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Ecore CEO Art Dodge said the company is pleased to be partnering with the City of Ozark, Dale County and the State of Alabama to establish the world-class manufacturing and recycling facility.
“Since its inception, Ecore has transformed over 2 billion pounds of rubber waste into surfaces that make people’s lives better. All Ecore manufacturing facilities are certified ‘Zero Waste,’ amplifying the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” Dodge said.
“Ecore invests in more than its facilities — we invest in our people and in our communities because we believe that when our people and our communities prosper, we prosper,” he added.
In 2021, the company upcycled over 100 million pounds of truck tires — equivalent to approximately 1 million truck tires destined for landfills or illegal dumps — into high-value manufactured products shipped nationally and internationally.
Markets for Ecore products include nursing homes, hotels, fitness centers, recreation centers, retailers and schools.
“Ecore is a champion of sustainability, with a primary goal of creating products that improve lives and the environment,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Its new tire recycling and manufacturing facility in Dale County will help this impressive company extend its mission while also providing good-paying jobs for citizens there,” he added.
Officials in Dale County said Ecore’s plans to invest in Ozark will have a major impact on the region.
“I want to thank the team at Ecore International for their confidence in Ozark and Dale County. We welcome the expansion of your company from Pennsylvania to Ozark, Alabama,” Mayor Mark Blankenship said. “We look forward to a great partnership with Ecore International.”
Dale County Commission Chairman Steve McKinnon echoed those comments.
“I am thrilled that Ecore is a company who will bring in the type of jobs that will attract people to move here and involve themselves in our community and our churches and schools,” McKinnon said.
“We want to thank the company for choosing to expand to Dale County and heartily welcome them.”
Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce, said Ecore’s recycling facility project in Dale County joins a list of innovative operations being launched in rural Alabama.
Since 2020, projects valued at over $3 billion have landed in the state’s rural counties, according to Commerce data.
“Companies from around the world are discovering that Alabama’s rural communities are an ideal location to bring their game-changing innovations to life,” Tuck said.
“The simple fact is these areas can offer growing businesses significant advantages that will magnify the impact of their investment and provide a launchpad for growth.”
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Jerry Underwood, Author
Made in Alabama