Rainbow City Lands Industry

RAINBOW CITY – Rainbow City announced Monday a new industry coming to the city that eventually will employ about 20 people, according the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Agency.

It was a rapidly developing recruitment process that took less than a month, according to the IDA.
The City Council met Monday and approved tax abatements on non-education taxes for RC Mold and Machine, a division of Quality Mold Inc. of Akron, Ohio.

The firm, which hopes to be in operation by March 1, will be repairing, modifying and manufacturing tire molds and ancillary equipment needed for manufacturing tires.

The company will be locating in an existing 15,000-square-foot building at 1110 Deerfoot Parkway in the Deerfoot Industrial Park off Alabama Highway 77. The building once housed United Marble.

Bill Greene with the IDA said the firm initially will have five employees. Within three years, it should have 15 to 20 employees.

He said they will be “high-tech jobs” paying $12 to $13 an hour.

Greene said he was contacted by David Forsythe of Southern Steel Products, a member of the IDA board, that a building was available and should be on the IDA’s Web site.

Soon after, according to Greene, the owner of Quality Mold came and met with Goodyear plant officials in Gadsden and also met with him.

The company owner asked Greene if any buildings were available here that had about 15,000 square feet of space available.

Greene said that was the only building available and showed it to the owner and he was pleased with it.

” The decision was pretty much made then,” Greene said.

He said it was “unbelievably fast,” taking only two to three weeks for the decision.

” I have never seen one happen that fast,” Greene said. “They wanted it to happen yesterday.”

He said he understood RC Mold and Machine has talked to the state employment service about the positions that will be available.

Rainbow City Mayor Terry John Calhoun said Quality Mold is the largest “non-captive” maker of tire molds in the United States. Calhoun said it has facilities in Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Mexico and Brazil. The company produces tire molds for Goodyear and other tiremakers.

Calhoun said he was contacted about two weeks ago by Greene, who told him the firm was looking at the property.

Calhoun said the city had to call a special council meeting Monday to approve the tax abatements, which are the usual tax abatements given to new industries

The council approved annual tax abatements totaling $3,635 in county and state ad valorem taxes. Construction-related taxes will total about $27,100, Greene said.

Calhoun said the firm is investing just more than $1 million in the facility here.

Greene said the firm usually will lease a facility for a few years before making a decision to buy it.

” We’re really thrilled any time we get a new industry in Rainbow City,” Calhoun said.

Greene said Goodyear makes the majority of its own molds for its tires. He said Quality Mold is the largest non-Goodyear company that supply molds to Goodyear.

Greene said Quality Mold tries to locate near Goodyear plants. He said Quality Mold officials have talked to Goodyear officials and they will be dealing with the Goodyear plant here.

” They want to be up and operational by March 1,” Greene said.

A new expansion at Goodyear is under construction, with production expected to begin this year.

Greene said the existing building is a “nice fit” for the company. He said the building had been vacant for just more than a year.

Payroll will begin at about $130,000. By the third year, it should reach about $546,000, Greene said.

Greene said Quality Mold said it is deciding whether to close its Tyler, Texas, facility, where Goodyear is ending tire production.

Quality Mold officials said RC Mold and Machine is being located here to service tire manufacturing plants in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

An IDA release said the primary focus will be Gadsden and Rome and White, Ga., but Greene said he did not know what plants the company would be working with in Georgia.

By Andy Powell

Times Staff Writer