Ground Awakening In The Shoals – Put another one in the “Win” column – VIDEOS

by Steve Wiggins
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FLORENCE – They flew in from Japan, Texas, Indiana. Governor Robert Bentley and his entourage flew up from Montgomery. They gathered in what was at one time a hay field in the Industrial Park to meet with local officials and interested Citizens to announce a new company.






TASUS Corporation, announced the construction launch of a $19 million dollar injection molding manufacturing facility. The company, which manufactures plastic injection molded automotive components for most North American automotive manufacturers and many of their Tier 1 suppliers, will begin hiring production team members, shift supervisors, maintenance and tooling technicians, among others as early as this month.  They will hire over 135 employees in the next 3 – 5 years to meet the production need in the 104,000 square foot facility.

President & C.E.O. Tasus, Melanie Hart

The company has a number of customers in Alabama. Their closest is North American Lighting in Muscle Shoals. Tasus decided to locate in The Shoals for a lot of reasons. They have customers all over Alabama, a State that is rapidly becoming known as an automobile manufacturing powerhouse. However, when the company officials addressed the audience, it became clear that the new facility was located here because of the people who live and work in this area. “We will be putting local citizens to work, and soon.” said Melanie Hart President and CEO of Tsuchiya Group North America. “In addition we are in the process of outfitting a temporary Florence facility which will begin production in November to meet customer demand.”


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TASUS Alabama will be immediately looking for local employees to fill several vacancies. The jobs created now will transition to their permanent facility.

S.E.D.A. Executive Director, Forrest Wright

“TASUS has a great history of being an employer of skilled manufacturing employees, as they have proven with the launches of their manufacturing facilities in Indiana and Texas.  “We are confident that our community will live up to those same high standards” said Forrest Wright, President of the Shoals Economic Development Authority.












Governor Robert Bentley

“Alabama offers companies a strong workforce and a business-friendly climate,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We are committed to helping companies succeed, and we are committed to creating more new jobs for the people of Alabama. The TASUS Corporation’s plans are a compliment to our statewide economic development efforts.”


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Florence Mayor Bobby Irons

The City of Florence is extremely excited to welcome TASUS to our community.” Said Florence Mayor Bobby Irons. “Based on my visits with corporate executives and having an opportunity to visit the Texas facility, I am very impressed with the quality of the company and its leadership. TASUS will be a tremendous asset as a member of our corporate community.”











“The new injection molding facility for TASUS is currently in the final stages of planning. TASUS officials began looking at the site in late 2011. Full production is scheduled to start in October 2013”, said Walt Barkalow, current General Manager of TASUS Texas who will also serve as General Manager of TASUS Alabama.

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TASUS Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based Tsuchiya Co. Ltd.. TASUS is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana and has additional manufacturing facilities in Georgetown,Texas and Hamilton, Ontario Canada. TASUS currently produces about 52 million plastic automotive components annually.

Koichi Ohara, President of Tsuchiya Co., Ltd.

Koichi Ohara the President of Tsuchiya Co. Ltd., which has its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan made the trip to awaken new ground for the plant. “Investment in U.S. manufacturing is very important to us, it is with great pride that we are a part of new growth in Alabama” said Ohara

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TASUS is already showing great respect and environmental responsibility to the community. Rather than holding a traditional ground breaking, the event concluded with an “awakening” where state, local and TASUS officials planted a Camellia tree rooted in Japanese heritage and producer of Alabama’s state flower.

“We are here to make quality parts and “awaken” new jobs and opportunities for Florence, and the Shoals.” said Hart

The Quad-Cities Daily caught up with Macke Mauldin, a S.E.D.A. Board Member and asked him about his thoughts on today’s events.

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Photos: Dave Reasons, Sheri Wiggins

Video: Steve Wiggins

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1 comment

Bravo Charlie Charlie January 1, 2014 - 7:39 pm

As MacArthur said about Ike, Wally Barkalow was a good clerk with the 1st Infantry Division (HHC, 2d Bn (Mech) 2d Inf)


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