Welcome to Calhoun County, Carlson Engineered Composites!


February 16, 2015




Anniston, AL – The Calhoun County Economic Development Council announced today that Carlson Engineered Composites USA, Inc., a Canadian firm that manufactures fiberglass components, plans to expand its operations to Anniston.

The project represents a capital investment of $3 million and will create 75 new jobs in Calhoun County.

The company will be locating in an existing 67,000-square-foot building on Electronics Drive, which will be purchased by the EDC and leased to Carlson. Operations should begin in the first quarter of 2015, according to Don Hopper, Executive Director of the EDC.

Carlson Engineered Composites USA is a subsidiary of the Carlson Group, and has a similar production facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota, that manufactures fiberglass composites for Original Equipment Manufacturers in the transportation, agricultural, automotive, recreational, and food processing industries. One of the company’s largest automotive customers is New Flyer Industries, which also has a facility in Anniston.

Today’s announcement was the result of months of recruiting and negotiation on the part of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council. “We’re so excited to have Carlson here,” said Larry Deason, Chairman of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council. “This is an industry we highly recruited from Winnipeg. They have a great relationship with New Flyer, and we are anticipating even more jobs to come as they increase their market share in the Southeast.”

Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said Calhoun County is a good fit for Carlson, which can pursue new business in the region’s thriving automotive manufacturing sector.

“Alabama is committed to helping the advanced manufacturing sector thrive, and we’re seeing manufacturers add jobs through expansions and new facilities across the state,” Secretary Canfield said. “This project from Carlson is another example of that, and it will deliver substantial benefits to Calhoun County. By bringing in new capital investment and new jobs, the project creates opportunity for county residents.”

The Carlson Group is composed of four companies: Carlson Commercial & Industrial Services Ltd., Carlson Engineered Composites, Inc., Carlson Engineered Composites USA Inc., and Carlson Truck Outfitters. Carlson has been serving different industries from their headquarters in Winnipeg since their inception in 1939.


For more information, please contact:

Don Hopper, Executive Director

Calhoun County Economic Development Council



IAC Expansion at McClellan



The Calhoun County Economic Development Council would like to congratulate International Automotive Components (IAC) on the completion of their expansion to their facility in Anniston, Alabama. On December 9th, 2014, IAC held a celebration to commemorate the opening of their expansion. In attendance at the celebration included top executives at IAC, executives of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, and representatives from the local economic development organizations.

The 126,000 square foot expansion, constructed adjacent to the existing IAC manufacturing plant on the previous Fort McClellan, expands IAC’s Anniston production capacity to approximately 262,000 square feet. The operation will support the hiring of approximately 350 new skilled associates, increasing the total workforce to more than 500 employees by 2016. The expansion was finished from groundbreaking to completion in 10 months. Over 100 employees from 23 different companies, most of where were local, worked on the job site during the building’s construction.

“Upon creation of IAC, we committed to our customers to establish operations near their facilities around the world,” said IAC Global President and CEO Jim Kamsickas. “The establishment of this new state-of-the-art facility provides yet another example of IAC executing upon that commitment.” When speaking about the original decision to purchase Ampro, the previous industry located at the facility in Anniston, Kamsickas stated that the genuine, humble nature of the people in the community of Anniston helped to fortify his decision.

Michael Gains, Division Manager of the Purchasing Division of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA), was there to celebrate the partnership that IAC facilities have had with Honda; a partnership that began in 1982 and now supplies seven Honda vehicles and four Acura vehicles. Honda has been able to depend on IAC to deliver high-quality, complex, acoustic instrument panels for their vehicles. Since the opening of HMA, they have witnessed a significant increase in the purchase of light trucks. This growth has resulted in the manufacturing of 3 million light trucks at the HMA facility in Lincoln since its opening; in 2013 alone they manufactured 300,000.

The expansion at the IAC facility at McClellan will be one of the few IAC facilities that have the capability to manufacture both hard and soft trim. With the new expansion, the facility in Anniston will now also be manufacturing carpet for certain Honda vehicles. Manufacturing carpet for the automotive industry will allow for this facility to diversify its production by creating the soft trim product. In total, the Anniston facility ships 412,000 finished pieces every single day.

Larry Deason, the chairman of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, stated, “The IAC expansion is a great vote of confidence in our area. The fact that a $5 billion company has chosen to expand in our area shows that we are doing something right. We look forward to the completion of the project and continue to stand ready to assist IAC in any way we can.” This expanding IAC Anniston facility will employ numerous manufacturing processes including, but not limited to, injection and compression molding. These, and numerous other process, will be used to produce IAC’s full suite of vehicle components, including instrument panels, door panels, flooring and acoustics and other interior trim systems for customers including Nissan, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Mercedes and others.


International Automotive Components (IAC) is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim. The company’s 2013 sales were $5.2 billion. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC Group operates 80 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries. The company has nearly 100 locations in 21 countries, including 22 design, technical and commercial centers, and employees more than 28,000 people globally. IAC, the largest singularly focused supplier of automotive interiors in the world, is built on the core principles of exception design, engineering and manufacturing driven by a culture of customer satisfaction and relentless continuous improvement. For more information, visit www.iacgroup.com.



IAC - Chamber

Calhoun County EDC and Regional Partners form Core 4



The Calhoun County Economic Development Council is honored to announce to be a part of the CORE4 initiative. CORE4 is a regional partnership of economic developers and business leaders representing the four counties along the East Alabama I-20 corridor, dedicated to coordinating efforts to attract industry and jobs to the area. The counties include St. Clair, Talladega, Calhoun and Cleburne. For more information, please read this article from the Birmingham Business Journal.

Current members of the CORE4 effort include:

  • Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Lincoln
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Goodgame Company, Pell City
  • Jacksonville State University
  • Alabama Power Company
  • PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
  • City of Anniston
  • McClellan Development Authority
  • Jacksonville Industrial Development Authority
  • City of Heflin Industrial Development Authority
  • Pell City Industrial Development Board
  • Talladega County Economic Development Authority
  • Calhoun County Economic Development Council
  • Clair County Economic Development Council
  • Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce
  • Gadsden State Community College