State recognition nice, but everyday benefits even better
The management team at Nucor Steel Decatur accepted the state's Manufacturer of the Year Award on Wednesday night in Montgomery, but residents of this community are the beneficiaries.
The local steel industry's outlook was bleak five years ago as bankrupt Trico Corp. ceased operations at the mini-mill off Alabama 20 in Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park. Trico was unable to make the facility profitable. Not only were most of Trico's 400 employees out of jobs, but other local steel processors like Monarch Steel, Worthington Steel and Feralloy were affected.
Some were skeptical when Nucor announced plans to purchase the mini-mill. If Trico couldn't make it work, how could Nucor?
Five years later, Nucor Steel Decatur employs nearly 650 and has invested more than $500 million in improvements. It produces nearly twice as much steel as its predecessor at the site and is adding a $167 million galvanizing facility that will add up to 100 jobs and produce a high-end product when it opens next year. Nucor's ability to consistently produce a quality product has prompted existing steel processors to expand operations and continues to attract more industry to the area.
Nucor Steel's safety-first philosophy has resulted in the Decatur plant accumulating more than 5 million man-hours without a lost-time accident in an industry historically notorious for workplace dangers.
Nucor has also been a good neighbor, with the company and its employees donating more than $100,000 each year to United Way, $25,000 annually to the American Cancer Society and computers, playground equipment and athletic equipment to local schools.
Congratulations, Nucor Steel Decatur.
We're glad you're here.