Alabama Governor Bob Riley awarded a state grant to an Enterpise business. The grant’s purpose is to help increase the efficiency of American workers due to competition from China and several Third World countries.
Duracast Corporation plans to use the $50,000 state grant to teach its employees new production techniques. The company’s die cast components are used by businesses in the aerospace, automotive, furniture and construction industries. Three years ago Duracast employed 150 people, but now that number is down to 75. Company president Hinton Hall says it is hard to compete in a global economy when workers in mainland China are only being paid 30 cents an hour. Hall says the key to success for U.S. businesses is modernization and improved efficiency. Employee Scott Tatem has been with Duracast for eight years. He says he is learning to use a new robotic arm to make parts. Tatem says that Alabama is a great place to live but, “we’ve got to be more competitive with China and Korea. We’ve got to do better.” Many of the employees believe the additional training will help them in a number of areas. Employee Paul Mack says, “If I can do a better job, it makes the customers happy. In all, we are better off.”
The funds for re-training come from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grants are then administered through various state agencies. In addition to the state grant, Duracast is putting in $50,000 for the year long training program. The training will be administered through the Alabama Productivity Center in Montgomery.