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Ivey honors Alabama companies for success in exports

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) recently today honored five Alabama companies for their accomplishments in selling products in markets around the world and contributing to the robust exporting activities that are sparking economic growth at home.

"Last year, Alabama exports went to 190 countries, showing the power of our 'Made in Alabama' brand across the globe," Governor Ivey said. "The high-performing companies we're honoring today are finding success on a global stage, and I want to ensure they are showcased as role models within the state's business community. They prove that Alabama companies can grow and thrive at home, while also competing with the best the world has to offer."

Economic developer Dr. Nicole Jones Wadsworth explained to the Alabama Gazette, "Alabama has a many international trade partners that exemplify the Made in Alabama brand. The Governor's Trade Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding companies for their contributions to our state's success in global markets. In 2023, Alabama exports totaled $27.4 billion, which surpassed the previous record earned in 2022. The strength of Alabama's business climate is a result of innovative products and services, a dedicated workforce, and continued communication and positive relationships with nations across the globe."

Governor Ivey presented leaders of the companies with a 2024 Governor's Trade Excellence Award at a ceremony at the Old House Chamber in the State Capitol. Ivey proclaimed May as World Trade Month in the state of Alabama.

The companies honored are:

Evonik Industries, one of the first German companies to open an Alabama operation, has facilities in Mobile (specialty chemicals) and Birmingham (medical device technology). Evonik came to Alabama in the 1970s and continues to invest in the state.

Hartzell Engine Tech is a Montgomery firm offering a portfolio of brands that provide engine accessories and heating solutions for the general aviation industry.

MDT Armor in Auburn provides armored vehicles for military, law enforcement, aviation and civilian uses to customers worldwide.

PTS Expeditionary Communications is a Huntsville company that offers specialized products for expeditionary command posts that are reliable, lightweight and cost-effective.

United Aero Group's operation in Enterprise specializes in maintaining, repairing, overhauling and modifying a wide variety of helicopter types from major manufacturers. The operation was formerly known as Arista Air.

Governor Ivey presented Nisa Miranda, who served as director of the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development from 1995 until her retirement in March, with the Trade Advocate of the Year Award for her longstanding support of the state export support system.

Alabama's exports have been surging in recent years, increasing 43% in value since 2020. Last year, Alabama exports totaled $27.4 billion, eclipsing the previous annual record set in 2022.

Leading Alabama exports include motor vehicles, chemicals, minerals, metals, aerospace parts and forest products.

4,000 state companies are involved in international trade.

"Exporting is a primary way that Alabama businesses benefit from the global economic connection that we have established," said Ellen McNair, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "It's also important to remember that these international sales enhance the performance of our state-based companies and solidify their futures back here at home," she added.

Christina Stimpson is the director of Commerce's Office of International Trade.

"It's great to see each of these companies recognized today for their outstanding commitment to international growth," Stimpson said. "Each of these companies engaged in exporting will lead to growth in their production, creating and sustaining jobs in their communities."

Commerce's Office of International Trade offers resources to help Alabama companies enter profitable new overseas markets through frequent trade and business development missions, training, foreign-market information, and international contacts.

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