Business Royal Technologies announces 165K-sq-ft expansion, up to 50 new jobs | CullmanSense

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Royal Technologies announces 165K-sq-ft expansion, up to 50 new jobs

Even as local dignitaries gathered for the groundbreaking, construction crews were already at work behind them. / W.C. Mann

We’re enthusiastic about the future; not because of what we do, but we feel so comfortable living amongst and being a great neighbor in a community that’s second to none.”
Royal Technologies President Jim Vander Kolk

CULLMAN - On Thursday morning, local city officials, county commissioners, representatives of Wallace State and the county school board joined the staff of Royal Technologies’ Cullman plant, as company President Jim Vander Kolk announced the construction of an additional 165,000-square-foot facility at the site.  Even as the group gathered outside for the official groundbreaking ceremony, construction crews were already actively involved in site preparation behind them.  The expansion is expected to bring as many as 50 new jobs.

Royal Technologies (RT), in business since 1987, is based in Hudsonville, Michigan, with 1,200 employees working at facilities in that city, Cullman and Mission, Texas.  The company specializes in plastic and urethane foam molding for the automotive and furniture industries, as well as other commercial ventures.  Within Alabama, RT’s Cullman facility supplies components to the Hyundai automotive plant in Montgomery, Remington Firearms in Huntsville and REHAU right here in Cullman.

Vander Kolk said of his Cullman operation, “About 10 years ago, I began to realize that in order for our company to continue its growth, we had to locate outside of west Michigan.  So we started looking for communities: where do we set up shop? 

“It was during that time that we happened upon the (Cullman Economic Development Agency), namely Peggy (Smith) and Dale (Greer), and they showed us the land.  And land is important, but that’s not what attracted us.  In fact, they told us you were really smart, and there are some very astute people here, but that’s not what attracted us.  You told us you work hard.  Yeah, we realize how hard you work, but that’s not what attracted us.  What attracted us to Cullman--and I have to admit, I sound a little funny to y’all--but one thing we have in common are values: and values of trust, integrity and respect, of stewardship.  And it didn’t take long to realize this was a bunch of people that make up a community they call Cullman.  But is wasn’t what they did, it was who they are.  I’m a firm believer that who you are is manifested by what you do.  And that’s what attracted us to this community.

“We’re enthusiastic about the future; not because of what we do, but we feel so comfortable living amongst and being a great neighbor in a community that’s second to none.”

Vander Kolk commended CEDA and its Director Dale Greer for their efforts in recruiting and supporting RT, and especially thanked former CEDA Director Peggy Smith, referring to her as the very definition of “integrity, trust and compassion.”

After the ceremony, Vander Kolk told The Tribune, “Cullman knows us, and we know Cullman.  The thing that makes me so excited is that the values that establish who you are is so similar to how I was brought up, and where I come from.  And that’s really the key to the success of the operation; not only, but it’s also why I’m so excited about the future, because people get it. 

“And a big part of Royal Technologies is, our responsibility is, to make people better.  You know, you come to work every day, and you try to make yourself better, do it more efficiently and things like that, but a bigger part of our responsibility is to start with ourselves and make ourselves better, and then help others around us.”

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  • W.C. Mann
    Royal Technologies President Jim Vander Kolk talks with Cullman United Way Director Sammie Danford after the groundbreaking.
  • W.C. Mann
    Royal Technologies