ATHENS, Ala. — Office furniture manufacturing giant Steelcase will invest $7.37 million in equipment upgrades at its facility in Athens, Alabama.
“This investment is to enhance our technology,” said plant manager John Lucius, after the Athens City Council approved the company’s request for an abatement of non-education sales and property taxes. “We’re adding technology such as fiber optics that will make us competitive within the industry and with our sister plants.”
The Athens city council approved a sales tax abatement of $138,188 over two years and a property tax abatement of around $233,000 over a 10-year period.
Nearly 1,200 employees currently work at the almost 1-million-square-foot facility. Steelcase says it has no plans to hire more employees. Mainly office furniture is built at the plant, along with small case goods and architectural products.
Steelcase and MIT’s new technology aims to break the traditional constraints of 3D printing.
Steelcase has been in the news quite a bit lately, having formed a creative partnership with Microsoft and working with MIT to create furniture in mere minutes using a liquid 3D printing process.