Inland Seafood gets incentives to expand in Alabama
An Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.-based seafood company has big plans in store as it plans to invest USD 4 million (EUR 3.4 million) to relocate some operations and develop new projects and products at its facility in Birmingham, Alabama.
Inland Seafood announced it will renovate an existing storage and distribution center and transform it into a state-of-the-art production plant, where it will make its value-added seafood and meat products. The expansion will create at least new 100 jobs, but company officials are optimistic more will be generated in years to come.
"Inland is proud of the participation we have always had in the communities we serve," Inland Seafood President Chris Rosenberger said in a statement. "We are only as good as the people in our buildings and we are thrilled to fill the new facility with the locals we have been serving for the past 11 years in Birmingham.”
The Birmingham City Council approved a USD 4.3 million (EUR 3.7 million) incentive package on Tuesday, 18 July to help Inland with the expansion. The incentives include loans and funding from a community development block grant. Work is expected to begin on the expansion within the next 30 days, said Griffin Lassiter, a senior project manager for Birmingham’s economic development office.
The expansion will take place in phases, with as many as 50 jobs created during the first phase. While some operations will move from Atlanta to Birmingham, the company will keep its corporate headquarters in Georgia.
Through a spokesman, Rosenberger said on 19 July that the expansion will enable the company to market new products to its customers, which include restaurants, hotels, and retailers. One of the new products slated for the Birmingham facility will be biltong, a dried beef delicacy originating in southern Africa.
In addition, the expanded facility will include a training center that should produce benefits for Birmingham’s culinary industry. Rosenberger noted that Inland Seafood, which started 40 years ago, has had an impact on Atlanta’s restaurant scene, and he said he believes the same will happen in Birmingham.
Lassiter said the training center will help the city keep chefs and grow its reputation as a burgeoning spot for upscale dining.
“They’re great jobs, and we want our folks to have jobs” like that, he said.
Inland is the largest full-line processor and distributor in the Southeast United States, handling more than 2,000 items, including Maine lobster. The company processes fresh, frozen, smoked and specialty seafood items, as well as other meats, cheeses, olives, and oils.
The employee-owned company supplies products to more than 5,500 restaurants and 2,500 retail outlets. In addition to its Atlanta and Birmingham facilities, Inland also has distribution facilities in New Orleans, Louisiana and Charlotte, North Carolina.