(Photo: Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Sept. 29, 2021) – The Huntsville community and State of Alabama are proud to welcome Special Aerospace Services (SAS) as the newest company to locate in Cummings Research Park (CRP). The company hosted a groundbreaking on Wednesday at its new location, 1101 Explorer Boulevard NW.
“Choosing Huntsville was a very strategic decision. We looked at several states and Alabama was the clear winner down-select,” said Heather Bulk, SAS co-founder, president, and CEO.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey attended the groundbreaking. Bulk is one of the first businesswomen to leverage HB 192, which Gov. Ivey championed earlier this year during the state’s legislative session. HB 192 creates a new jobs credit for underrepresented businesses and provides incentives for new and existing businesses looking to expand into rural areas.
“Colorado-based SAS is a valuable addition to the dynamic roster of nimble and highly competent aerospace businesses in Alabama’s ‘Rocket City,’” Governor Ivey said. “I know that SAS will find a welcoming home in Huntsville, where it can harness the technical know-how and leverage the partnerships it needs to grow and thrive.”
SAS says this expansion is part of the company’s strategy to expedite its strategic, tactical, manufacturing, logistics, and R&D activities. It will build a 55,000-square-foot facility called “The Campus” to house federal services, research, and special activities, as well as an engineering and training space, high bay assembly, advanced manufacturing, and research bays. The Campus will be developed to include two major buildings, with 30 high technology jobs.
“This expansion to Huntsville demonstrates the confidence and appreciation for the workforce talent that is here, the diversity of Cummings Research Park, and our continued mission to support our nation in all things space and defense,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We welcome SAS to the Rocket City!”
Female students from Columbia High School, located nearby in CRP, participated in the ceremony. This included JROTC cadets on the Honor Guard presenting the colors, and members of the STEM team, who accepted a $2,000 donation from the company to help Columbia continue its pursuit and enhancement of STEM programs.
“As a woman CEO in the aerospace industry, increasing diversity is top of my mind and a crucial deciding factor for why we picked Rocket City, which is showing strong partnerships in STEM and advancing in diversity,” said Bulk. “With high schools like Columbia High School — right here in Huntsville — doing creative things to promote STEM, I feel a sense of profound optimism about the future.”
Additional local and state leaders also offered their support and congratulations.
“Alabama is committed to having a business climate that affords underrepresented businesses a reason to locate here and thrive here,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “An innovative small business like SAS will not only bring vitality to our business community but also provide a boost for our efforts to elevate STEM education and careers.”
“Today’s groundbreaking shows once again that North Alabama leads the nation in attracting technology jobs and quality companies such as SAS because of our commitment to partner in their success, keep taxes low and provide a high quality of life for their employees,” said Dale Strong, Chairman of the Madison County Commission.
“We are very excited to have SAS as the newest tenant in Cummings Research Park as they build The Campus,” said Erin Koshut, the Park’s Executive Director. “This company brings exceptional expertise and aerospace leadership to our community. We are also thrilled that they see the importance of inspiring and supporting our future STEM workforce, especially in their close neighbors at Columbia High School, located just down the road from their site. We look forward to seeing this development take shape in the coming weeks and months ahead.”
VP, Marketing & Communications
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber