Protective clothing manufacturer Kappler, Inc. is expanding into the technology and training arena with a major addition to its corporate campus in Guntersville.
The company has broken ground for construction of the Kappler Technology and Training Center to leverage Kappler’s legacy of innovation in chemical and biohazard protection. The 49,000-square-foot facility will be built in phases, with the initial 20,000 square feet to be completed by December.
“We are currently swamped with demand due to the coronavirus situation, but we decided not to delay construction,” said Laura Kappler-Roberts, Kappler president and CEO. “We feel fortunate to be working to support responders and healthcare workers, and we view this as a vote of confidence in our team and the economy itself.”
Kappler has a nearly 45-year history of market leadership in protective fabrics and garment technology. The company is the global leader in gas-tight suits for chemical and biohazard protection. Those so-called “space suits” are all manufactured in Alabama, along with dozens of other garment styles for a wide range of hazardous work.
According to Jay Nicholson, director of R&D for Kappler, the scope of the new facility is not limited to protective technology.
“The Technology and Training Center will serve as the foundation for Kappler’s new Technology business unit,” Nicholson said.
“We have extensive experience in specialty materials, unique fabric converting capabilities, safety training and R&D problem-solving. With our work for NASA and the military we have seen a real need in the Huntsville-North Alabama area for flexible R&D and technical support,” he added.
The new facility will be located across the street from Kappler’s corporate headquarters in Guntersville’s Mountain Crest Industrial Park.
The current construction phase includes a two-story building to house the company’s R&D staff and labs, plus a dedicated training center and manufacturing space. That will be followed with an additional 29,000 square feet of warehouse space to support the center’s manufacturing activities.
Expansion plans include the purchase of new equipment and hiring an expected 60 additional workers over the next 24-36 months.
Kappler, Inc. is a leader in protective apparel and fabrics for chemical and biological hazards serving military, law enforcement, hazmat, industrial, emergency response and healthcare markets worldwide. All Kappler products are made in the USA in Guntersville, Alabama. Kappler is a self-certified Woman Owned Small Business and registered to ISO 9001. For more information visit kappler.com or call 800-600-4019.