TANNER, AL (WAFF) - State officials are expanding the robotics park in Limestone County.
Governor Bentley announced the approval of $6 million in funds needed to create a new 50,000 square-foot building at the park in Tanner.
The new building will be the third at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park on US 31 across from Calhoun Community College. Students from Alabama colleges and representatives from businesses across the state come to the park to learn about the state-of-the-art industrial robot systems.
State leaders said it's already made thousands of jobs possible.
"The final phase of the robotics technology park will focus on allowing companies to build and adapt automation for new and existing manufacturing processes," Bentley said.
The building will also include an area for people to train on robots for painting vehicles. The state workforce training agency, Alabama Industrial Development Training, runs the park.
When completed, the newest facility will add to the robotics training lineup, with an emphasis on robotic painting and robot integration.
"We'll be able to provide everything in the robotic area," said AIDT Project Manager Rick Maroney. "A company can come in and set up an automated line, get all the bugs out of it, bring their personnel in, train them, take it from our facility and put it into their plant. They lose no production time, which is huge for a company."
Training at the park is available for free to Alabama businesses. Outside companies must pay for the training, but administrators hope to make it a regional center for robotics training.
"At the RTP, we're really aligning all of our partners to create a workforce that's second-to-none in the world," said AIDT Director Ed Castille.
Construction is projected to take 10-11 months. The new building could be up and running in a year.