Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that Trendco USA plans to invest $43 million to launch a manufacturing operation in a Tuskegee logistics hub, where the company will produce nitrile medical gloves to expand domestic supply.
Columbia, South Carolina-based Trendco has committed to creating 292 jobs over five years at a facility in the new Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park off Interstate 85 in Macon County. The company also considered sites in Georgia and the Carolinas for the project.
“After considering many locations in other states, Trendco decided to locate its manufacturing facility in Tuskegee, and I am confident the company made the right choice for its investment project,” said Governor Ivey. “I look forward to seeing the company grow and thrive here in Alabama.”
Trendco is an early-stage company that has been producing medical-grade examination gloves in Louisiana through a partnership with another company. For the Tuskegee operation, it plans up to install as many as 10 glove production lines at the REAL Park location.
Once the glove lines are established at the Tuskegee facility, 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.
“We are very excited about our move to Alabama and look forward to building our PPE manufacturing facility in Tuskegee,” said Trendco USA CEO Darryl Hunter. “We believe the people of Tuskegee and the surrounding communities will play a vital role in our success in the medical technology sector.”
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said Trendco’s growth project validates the vision to move forward with ambitious development plans for REAL Park.
“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,” he added.
Trendco has signed an agreement to lease over 100,000-square-feet of space in Building 100 in REAL Park, where the company will initially set up a distribution operation as it prepares to launch glove production.
Building 100, a 168,000-square-foot facility, represents the catalyst project for the 700-acre Class A industrial park located off Exit 42 on I-85, which runs from Montgomery to Atlanta and beyond.
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, according to Justin Patwin, a principal at Farpoint Development, the master developer leading the project.
“We and our partners at OPAL are very excited to welcome Trendco to REAL Park,” said Patwin. “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.”
“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,” added Alex Flachsbart, Founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) and principal of The OPAL Fund, the lead investor in Building 100.
Joe Turnham, director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority, said having a completed Class A industrial facility in Building 100 of REAL Park alongside a seasoned development team — led by Farpoint Development and OPAL — that was willing to quickly customize the facility to the client’s needs, were major factors in winning the project.
“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,” said Turnham. “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.
“Now, these gloves will also carry a ‘Made in Tuskegee’ label.”
The Macon County Commission, Macon County Economic Development Authority and other local institutions are supporting the Trendco project with utility upgrades and industrial access road at the site worth $1.1 million and other in-kind services. AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, is also providing services to advance the project.
Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the state’s rural areas continue to register rising levels of economic development, with over $4 billion in new capital investment in the last three years alone.
“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,” said Tuck. “Opportunities are flourishing in the state’s rural communities, and the business world is paying attention.”