Birmingham Region and St. Clair County Represent the Area in Japan

Representatives Meet with Executives of Yachiyo Manufacturing of Alabama and Honda at SEUS/Japan Conference

TOKYO, JAPAN – October 1, 2012 – Representatives from the Birmingham Region, including St. Clair County and the Birmingham Business Alliance, recently attended the Southeast United States (SEUS)/Japan Association Conference in Tokyo, Japan.  The purpose of the trip was to thank executives from both Yachiyo Manufacturing of Alabama (YMA) and Honda for their investment in the region, and to continue to strengthen the relationships already created with YMA and Honda.  In addition, the representatives had the opportunity to discuss future international investment plans to allow our region to plan to take advantage of upcoming opportunities.

YMA, located in Steele, Alabama, is an automotive supplier specializing in automotive frame parts for the Honda facility in Lincoln, Alabama. The company, headquartered near Tokyo, Japan, originated in 1951 as a component painter for Honda motorcycle parts.  It established its location in Steele, Alabama, in September of 2000, shortly before the opening of the Honda facility.  Since its opening, YMA has expanded three times and grown from 70 employees in 2001 to its current 220 employees.  Its most recent expansion came after Honda’s announcement to add the Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle to its production lineup.  The initial construction and three expansions have included a capital investment of over $32 Million in their St. Clair County facility.

“As YMA and Honda have grown over the last ten years, executives have also changed positions.  It is very important to continue to strengthen these relationships and to make sure their decision-makers know St. Clair County and the entire Birmingham Region welcomes new growth in their Alabama facilities. We want to see them grow right here in our community, and to know we are here to provide solutions to their questions about workforce and infrastructure.” – Don Smith, Executive Director, St. Clair County Economic Development Council

“St. Clair County was a partner in the initial board developed to provide the infrastructure needed for the construction of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.  We realized early on that the Honda and Yachiyo facilities would provide good jobs for our citizens, and we invested in their promise to grow in our community.  We want to continue to commit our resources to the growth of both facilities. During our recent trip to Japan we were able to personally meet with Honda and Yachiyo executives and convey our appreciation for their faith and investment in St. Clair County and learn about how we can meet their future needs for growth and success.”  – Chairman Stan Batemon, St. Clair County Commission

“Nurturing the strong relationship between Alabama and the Japanese business community is vital to the Birmingham region’s economy,” said Rick Davis, senior vice president of economic development for the Birmingham Business Alliance. “These trips allow us to connect with Japanese companies – new and existing – to regularly hear about their workforce needs. In turn, as representatives of Alabama, we are able to update them on what we can do to help grow their business.”

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