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Canadian Company to Hire 55

Mayor Joseph Oglesby has announced the expansion of Sterling Packaging, LLC to Monroeville. Sterling Packaging will expand its operations to a new, state of the art facility in Monroeville, targeting 55 jobs with an investment of nearly $6 million in the operations.

Sterling Packaging is a Druid Capital Partners, LLC (Druid Capital) portfolio company formed in partnership with Jim Hickson, Debbie Hickson, Kelly Rasmussen and Colin Hickson. The manufacturing facility will be located in a 60,000-square-foot building in the Monroeville Industrial Park.

Sterling Packaging designs and manufactures folded paperboard cartons for a variety of industries, including food and beverage, hardware, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals. Its clients range from small privately owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and Canada.  While it serves a range of industries, the company has established a solid foothold in the beverage industry, specializing in the manufacture of bottle carriers and beer packaging for craft brewers.

“Once again, our local economy gets another boost thanks to Sterling and Druid Capital’s decision to expand in Monroeville,” said Oglesby.  “Our continued success is attributed to the teamwork of great partners including Gov. Kay) Ivey, Director Kenneth Boswell and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Sec. Greg Canfield and Alabama Department of Commerce, Chairman Chris Masingill and Delta Regional Authority, Judge Greg Norris and Monroe County Commission, Chairman Patrick Harrigan and the City of Monroeville Industrial Development Board, George Landegger and Parsons and  Whittemore and MMCEDA Director Whitney Barlow and the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority.

“Monroeville continues to grow in industry and manufacturing, attracting companies who want to call our wonderful city their home. Our community offers these companies, not just a great location, but a workforce that is second to none.”

Jim Hickson, president of Sterling Packaging, said, “This great partnership with Druid Capital allows Sterling to expand and better serve our existing clients, while aggressively growing our business in Canada and the U.S. We are delighted to be a part of the Monroeville, Alabama business community.”

Martin Holt, managing partner with Druid Capital, said, “We are extremely excited to have the Hicksons as a partner. Jim and Debbie truly are hardworking entrepreneurs, who have instilled a strong value system in their company and their children, evidenced by the leadership roles held by Kelly and Colin. We look forward to working together."

“As Alabama residents ourselves, we are proud to be involved with a true public/private partnership that will create jobs in our state, and really appreciate all those who made this possible, especially Mayor Joseph Oglesby, Whitney Barlow of the MMCEDA and Gov. Kay Ivey and her staff.”

To encourage the investment and job creation in Monroeville, Gov. Ivey, the State of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Delta Regional Authority, City of Monroeville, the City of Monroeville Industrial Development Board and Monroeville/Monroe County grow and thankful to George Landegger and Parsons and Whittemore for their donation of the building for this project. It is the backing of private and public officials and their continued support of Monroe County that will be the cornerstone of success for our County.”

“I am looking forward to the growth in our community when Sterling arrives,” stated Mark Burgess, chair of the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority. “Sterling’s expansion will further expand our growth and opportunities in this region. We are thankful for the significant investments and quality jobs coming to our county. I would like to thank everyone who had a part in making this partnership possible.”

Sterling Packaging was founded in 1989 by the husband and wife team of Jim and Debbie Hickson in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. Initially a commercial printing operation, the company began manufacturing paperboard packaging in 1992.

Whether you desire a new product launch, rebranding or decreasing your environmental impact, Sterling Packaging has the expertise and experience to deliver the most efficient results. For more information, please visit www.sterlingpackaginginc.com.

Druid Capital Partners was formed in 2015, and is a boutique investment manager focused on investing in private companies in the Southeast, targeting specialty manufacturing, distribution and industrial services. Druid Capital invests via majority acquisitions and recapitalizations in established companies alongside motivated, entrepreneurial owners and managers, providing a reliable, trusted and local source of equity capital. For more information, please visit www.druidcapital.com.

City Buys Building


Creating new jobs is on the front burner as the Monroeville City Council agreed to purchase the Hornady-Sawyer building for $1.32 million for incubator businesses and awarded the bid of $1.078 million to Hammer Construction Co. for renovation of the Alabama River Group (ARG) building.

See the announcement on today’s front page about the new company, which is locating in the former International Sign and Design building and George Landegger’s donation of the ARG building and adjoining 10 acres for the new Canadian company.

The 230,000 square-foot Hornady-Sawyer building is the former home of Arvin Industries, which manufactured automobile exhaust systems. It is located at the intersection of Sheffield and Vanity Fair drives. The large structure will be used to house several start-up businesses, council members said. The $1.32 million financing will come from a $500,000 loan from the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission with an interest rate of 2.25 percent, and the remaining balance of $820,000 from traditional sources with financing options from seven to 10 years.

The Hornady-Sawyer building is owned through an LLC by Bob and Karen Sawyer and the B.C. Hornady family.

“The purchase contract has been signed,” Oglesby said. “We expect to close on the property on Aug. 15. The town will apply for a $500,000 USDA grant following the completed purchase.”

Financing for the $1.078 million renovation of the ARG building is expected to be funded by a low-interest $1 million loan from the USDA, Oglesby said.

MillenniumBlok® to locate in Monroeville, Alabama the first of six plants it will build, creating 100 jobs for the region.


Mayor Joseph Oglesby announced the date for the groundbreaking of MillenniumBlok® International, Inc. is April 10, 2017. This the first of six plants the company plans to build in the United States. The Company’s investment of nearly $7 million in its newest manufacturing plant located in Monroeville, Alabama will create 100 jobs in the area with a focus on Veterans. The manufacturing facility will be housed in a 52,000-square foot building located in the Monroeville Industrial Park. This facility will be 90 miles from the Mobile Alabama Port Authority making global shipments convenient and economical. The company manufactures revolutionary composite blocks and other products for the construction industry.

“We are thankful for the assistance of Governor Bentley, Director Jim Byard and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Secretary Greg Canfield and Department of Commerce, Chairman Chris Masingill and Delta Regional Authority, Judge Greg Norris and Monroe County Commission, and Executive Director Whitney Hurt and the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority,” says Mayor Oglesby, further commenting that, “The City of Monroeville is looking forward to working with MillenniumBlok® as we add needed jobs to our economy. I am confident this is just the beginning of positive things that are going to happen for Monroeville and Monroe County.”

Based on the Associated General Contractors of America’s fact sheet released on the impact of the construction industry and its impact on Alabama. The construction industry’s economic impact on the state is $8 billion (4.1%) of the state’s GDP of $199 billion. The wages and salaries from the construction industry total $4 billion in Alabama in 2014. The construction industry continues to grow at a rate not seen since before the economic downtown.

Click here to read the full press release.

Two Major Employers Involved in the Construction of the New Atlanta Braves Stadium

Two of Monroe County's major employers, Gate Precast and Billy Barnes Enterprises, are very involved in the construction of the new Atlanta Braves stadium. Gate provides all of the architectural precast and Barnes provides all the hauling service. Now you can watch these two companies at work! Click the links below to live webcam views of Gate and Billy Barnes in action.

Construction Cameras

Live Webcam

Alabama Southern Among the Top 100 Community Colleges in the Nation

ascc article imageMONROEVILLE, AL - A recent study found that Alabama Southern Community College ranks among the best community colleges in the nation. ASCC was the only community college in the state of Alabama to be ranked in the top 100.

WalletHub, an online financial site, examined 670 schools nationwide in the key areas of Cost and Financing, Classroom Experience, Education Outcomes, and Career Outcomes. The study examined data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Center for Community College and Student Engagement, the Council for Community and Economic Research and the American Institutes for Research and Optimity Advisors.

Alabama Southern, with an overall ranking of 74th, ranked 305th in Cost and Financing, 16th in Classroom Experience, 212th in Education Outcomes, and 387th in Career Outcomes. Additionally, the College was listed as the top school for lowest student-loan default rate.

Methodology used to measure Classroom Experience included the following:

  • Active & Collaborative Learning - students’ level of involvement in their own education and participation in team activities/projects
  • Student Effort - students’ initiative to apply themselves to the learning process
  • Academic Challenge - complexity of courses and amount of work involved
  • Student-Faculty Interaction - strength of communication and personal relationships between instructors and their students
  • Support for Learners - measures the availability and effectiveness of school-provided support services for students’ academic success
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

“The recognition of 16th in the nation for Classroom Experience is a direct result of the hard work from faculty and staff,” said Dr. Reginald Sykes, ASCC President. “We have high expectations for our students and ensure that services are in place to support their academic success.”

According to the study’s author, “community colleges are slowly stacking up against their traditional four-year counterparts. Schedule flexibility, rigorous coursework and smaller class sizes supply the majority of their appeal to first-time college entrants as well as to university students choosing to transfer to community colleges- an emerging trend that goes against the usual grain of transitioning from a two-year to a four-year institution”.

Alabama Southern provides students with a flexible schedule by offering courses on-campus, online, in the evening, in mini-terms, and through dual enrollment for area high school students. ASCC also offers smaller class sizes with a 17-1 student to faculty ratio.

Article Originally Posted on ASCC.edu


Monroeville/Monroe County
Economic Development Authority

15 N. Mount Pleasant Ave.
Monroeville, AL 36460

Phone: 251-743-1332
Fax: 251-743-2012

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Did You Know?

Monroeville is known worldwide as the “Literary Capital of Alabama.”  Did you also know we are home to North America’s largest producer of mass market pulp?  Or that Gate Precast in Monroeville has been the architectural precast manufacturer of more than 50% of Atlanta’s skyline?  Or finally that we have more than 17 times the US average for counties our size of people working in the Long Distance Freight Trucking industry?

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