As construction progresses on the Mazda Toyota vehicle assembly plant in Limestone County, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is poised to make a large investment in minority and women-owned business enterprises.
The company said it plans to spend at least 20 percent of the overall cost of construction with those entities.
“Every aspect of MTMUS’s business must closely reflect our customers’ diverse backgrounds and experiences, including our team members, suppliers and business partners,” Mark Brazeal, vice president of administration of MTMUS, said in a press release. “Together with our general contractors and structural steel supplier, we have set an ambitious target that will set the foundation for MTMUS’s future to compete as a world-class manufacturer of vehicles.”
It’s difficult to put an exact figure on how much Mazda Toyota Manufacturing will spend. The total investment in the project is around $1.6 billion, but that includes non-construction costs like equipment and tooling.
Last year, Toyota alone had about a $3 billion diversity spend across the board, according to Victor Vanov, a spokesman for Toyota.
“That includes direct and indirect suppliers,” Vanov said. “What we mean by that is direct is like the specific car parts or components that go into our vehicles; on the indirect side, it might be things like janitorial services, printing, office supplies or maybe hiring a communications firm or consultant group.”
Construction sourcing has progressed and includes recent awards to diverse companies such as Aristeo Construction, a certified Woman-owned Business Enterprise general contractor; and Indiana Bridge, a Minority Business Enterprise structural steel supplier.
Officials say construction of the plant is on schedule and they expect production to begin in 2021.
The project is expected to bring around 4,000 new jobs to the area and the hiring process for some of those is already underway. Those interested can apply for jobs at MazdaToyota.com.
As far as construction is concerned, the company said there are about 2,500 workers on site building the facility with about 70 percent from Alabama.
When finished, the plant will span nearly 65 football fields or 3.1 million square feet; consist of 26,000 tons of steel with some 1,600 steel beams that, if stacked end to end, would reach a height of 80,000 feet – 15 miles.