Governor Bob Riley cut the ribbon at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park today at Calhoun Community College. The Phase I Robotics Maintenance Training Center opened today, with the Phase II Advanced Technology R&D Center scheduled for a February opening. The Phase III Integration and Entrepreneurial Center is TBD. The building is contending for a LEED Gold designation and features high efficiency mechanical and electrical systems; stormwater and rainwater capture systems; and high performance air filtration systems. The high-bay facility also features an overhead bridge traveling crane.
Gov. Riley gave a good speech and soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett made a good speech; the others could learn from them…
You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a City, County, or State politician. I asked several of the legislators what were their Top Three priorities – each of them answered Ethics Reform and Jobs. Some added union reform, charter schools, or more jobs to their lists. They were all looking forward to a Special Session to get at Ethics Reform.
The facility was equipped with several robots distributed on the main floor and in the classrooms. More than 25 companies partnered with ARTP to provide equipment and services: ABB, Fanuc, Kawasaki, Kuka, Mitsubishi, Motoman, OTC, Staubli, Cloos, Wolf, Omron, Rockwell, Cognex, Creform, Fronius, Gorbel Cranes, Lincoln Electric, Miller Welding, MESA, SKS, Innovation, Continental, Cisco, Airgas, Irby, Valley Air Supply, and Daikin. If you do business with these folks – thank them.
I’m not going to embarrass this young man too much, but the Calhoun PR group pissed me off with a show of silliness. This guy was only following orders (the door was ‘exit only’ for the event - I walked out and then tried to get back in – but none shall pass, except for those who are more equal than others), but the PR Director who walked me around the halls to show me a different door only for me to end up on the other side of THAT door was the worst type of bureaucrat. The PR person even got defensive as I was asking questions about the facility. You see the results of that PR effort here… FAIL!
Calhoun did do a good job of organizing and promoting the event – they even provided a ‘Legislative Luncheon’ to the worthies who attended. Ethics reform? Anyone? Did the kids from the local school robotics teams get fed, too?