Gadsden Industrial Development Authority
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Alabama Technology Center Gadsden

The campus of Gadsden State Community College houses the Alabama Technology Network's center in Gadsden. Through a cooperative network of business, education, and government, the Center is the primary source for high quality technical assistance and training for local industries. The ATN is an affiliate of the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and offers projects designed to meet the specific needs of companies.

All staff members have relevant practical experience in the private sector as well as strong academic credentials. Each has direct responsibility for working with companies to design and implement customized projects to meet identified needs, using the Center's own resources or those of service providers from its wide support network. The Center's structure and financial base allow it to focus solely on getting the appropriate help to its industrial partners with minimum cost and delay.

Examples of partnership activities include on-going apprenticeship programs; multi-year continuous improvement projects; ISO, QS and TS registration project implementation; Lean manufacturing; measurement systems; work cell integration; continuous flow development; computer integrated machining; automation; and asynchronous interactive employee training systems to serve multi-shift facilities. From automating fabrication and assembly operations to teaching high-end CAD techniques, the Center provides the best services available and ensures that the desired results are obtained.

The Center is the Southeast regional center of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.

Available facilities include: computer and electronic labs, flexible classrooms, flexible manufacturing space, and satellite and video conferencing.

Available equipment includes: 3 3-axis vertical CNC mills, 1 4-axis vertical CNC mill, 1 horizontal CNC mill , 2 CNC lathes, 2 mill simulators, 2 lathe simulators, 4-axis CNC turning center, CMM, 30" CNC optical comparator, optical comparator, vibratory deburring, 3D printer, coordinate measuring systems, wire and sinker EDMs, and PLC and router systems.

Available training formats include: apprenticeships, custom designed courses, vendor demonstrations, and workshops and seminars.

Available consulting formats include: assessments, engineering studies, process improvement, and product development.

Specialties include: automated control, CAD/CAM, CNC machining, electronic networking, industrial engineering, Lean manufacturing, Lean Sigma, quality engineering, quality systems, small parts prototyping, business systems, and information technology.

Financial support for the Center comes from the City of Gadsden, the Alabama College System, and from state and federal governments via the Alabama Technology Network. The Center's board of advisors is composed of local industry executives.  For more details contact Gregg Bennett, Director, 256-549-8162,

Industrial leadership training

In conjunction with Gadsden State Community College, the Alabama Technology Network Center in Gadsden administers an Industrial Leadership Series to enhance competitiveness and sustainability through best practices and modern techniques.

Production System Objectives:

  • Minimized lead time (from customer order to receipt of payment)
  • Elimination of non-value added activity (Muda), unevenness in flow/process (Mura), and process overburdening (Muri)
  • Continuously improving methodologies
  • Effective management of “input” (man, material, machines)
  • Satisfactory “output” (customer desired quality, variety, cost and delivery time)

Training Format:

  • Modern “pull” production systems, including CI, Lean, Leadership and Sustainability
  • Roles for intermediate to upper-level supervisors/managers/administrators
  • Classroom, simulations and plant visits to observe best practices
  • Six, 3-day weeks, off-site sessions, one week each month for 6 months
  • Instructors/Mentors from ATN, research university partners, and supporting companies

Content Elements:

Personal Leadership 

  • ­DISC analysis and effective communication
  • ­Coaching for Success
  • ­Intro To CI ("Lego Factory”)
  • ­Understanding, communicating, and linking production goals to operations and culture

Just-in-Time, Value Flow

  • ­Satisfying customers (external and internal) using only value-adding steps
  • ­Using: Continuous Flow / Pull / Kanban

SMED (Quick Changeover principles)
Cellular Design
Batch Reduction
Line Balancing

Standardization and Stability

  • Making it obvious when conditions are normal or abnormal
  • ­Using: 5S and Visualization

Standardized Work and Work Measurement
Job Development and Job Instruction (4-Step)
Job Methods Improvement


  • ­ First time/every time meeting of customer expectations
  • ­ Employing: Quality Management (Dimensions and Cost of Quality)

Quality System Standards (ISO 9000s, ISO 14000, TS, VDA, etc.)
Quality Techniques (SPC, CPk, 6σ, Quality Loops, Poka Yoke)
OEE (overall equipment effectiveness)

Continuous Improvement Culture­

  • Employee empowerment with built-in flexibility, allowing positive change to meet changing conditions
  • ­100% employee participation
  • ­Using: PDCA thinking and practice

Practical Problem Solving
Lean Enterprise Concepts
Value Stream Management


  • ­Sustainability 101 (cost and waste reduction, developing a culture of safety and environmental concern)
  • ­Cost-saving through avoidance of practices that harm ecological systems and threaten humans
  • ­Using: DFS (design for sustainability – reduce, recycle, reuse, refuse)

Waste Stream Mapping
Practical Energy
Green Workforce
Management of water, air, energy, toxics, solid wastes
Innovation Engineering (Jump Start and Spark Deck Techniques)

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Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority
Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. — Launch Admin Admin
One Commerce Square • Gadsden, AL 35901
Phone: 256.543.9423 • Fax: 256.547.2351
Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority One Commerce Square, Gadsden AL 35901 Phone.256.543.9423 Fax.256.547.2351