The Alabama Technology Network (ATN), the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) announced today the launch of CONNEX™ Alabama, a solution that will help strengthen the local and domestic manufacturing supply chain.

CONNEX™ Alabama is powerful online manufacturer database and connectivity platform provided for Alabama manufacturers. It’s designed to help manufacturers connect, find local and domestic suppliers, explore production capabilities, and manage their supply chain to identify single supplier risks and find opportunities for diversification.

ATN has long been a champion for promoting a thriving manufacturing community in the state of Alabama and to help take that support to the next level, we are pleased to launch CONNEX Marketplace in Alabama (aka, CONNEX™ Alabama). CONNEX is the country's leading solution to help shore up the manufacturing community by making connections based on capabilities and mitigating supply chain risks.

“CONNEX™ Alabama is another example of our commitment to Alabama manufacturers, states Whitney Barlow, ATN’s Supplier Development Manager. “We believe that CONNEX Marketplace has the potential to transform the way manufacturers do business in Alabama. Manufacturers will have the ability to post RFIs and RFQs for such items in the platform’s B2B Exchange Center, to which qualified suppliers may directly respond with their capabilities and availability. We are very excited to introduce CONNEX™ Alabama as Alabama’s supply chain solution.”

The CONNEX Marketplace technology was developed several years ago by i5 Services to connect the U.S. manufacturing supply chain. It’s now being used by manufacturers and suppliers across the country to connect with one another and find new business opportunities.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Alabama Technology Network to implement and support the CONNEX Alabama platform,” says Alan Davis, President and CEO of i5 Services. “When we first set out to create CONNEX Marketplace, we knew that we had to work closely with existing manufacturing partners across the nation. Those partners know exactly who the manufacturers and suppliers are in their state and have established good relationships with them. The Alabama Technology Network is one of those critical partners and we are excited to work with them to bring this new supply chain platform to Alabama manufacturers and help them grow their business." 

While CONNEX™ Alabama is a no-cost resource for Alabama manufacturers, the national subscription of CONNEX Marketplace is $500/year which allows manufacturers to search and connect nationally. Alabama manufacturers can receive free national access for life by using the ATN promo code “AlabamaFree.” The promo code expires July 8, 2023.

Free registration for Alabama manufacturers starts today. To learn more about CONNEX™ Alabama, and how to sign up for a free subscription, visit: or contact Whitney Barlow at




ATN is growing and we are looking for a Leadership & Management Development Training Facilitator to be a part of our LMD team.

The LMD Training Facilitator will develop and conduct training and technical assistance activities for business and industry in the area of Leadership & Management Development. Delivers class presentations and facilitates associated activities with topics delivered.

Questions: Becky Estes, Business Manager


ATN Provides High Quality Training to Alabama Manufacturer in Muscle Shoals

Constellium, a major aluminum sheet supplier for packaging and automotive markets in Muscle Shoals participated in ATN's HAZWOPER refresher course which is required each year under the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.120, OSHA’s standard which regulates hazardous waste operations and emergency response. In addition, new regulations and environmental laws pertaining to hazardous waste operations and emergency response were introduced.

Thank you, Constellium for allowing ATN to provide you with high quality workforce training.


Infographic: 8 Key Drivers of The Job Quality Toolkit

Many companies are struggling to find enough employees to keep their businesses going. Today, it takes much more than offering decent pay and benefits for employers to successfully attract and retain the diverse and skilled workforce they need. A new resource, the Job Quality Toolkit provides practical guidance to companies of all types on eight key drivers that turn a routine occupation into a high-quality job – one where your employee feels respected, valued, and important to your company’s success.


Team Updates | May

Continual Improvement

ATN instructors/facilitators have recently been preparing and teaching two of the “next-generation” of lean tools and training for businesses across the state. Sustaining and Leading Lean, and Toyota Kata. 

The Sustaining and Leading Lean class focuses on the sustainment of improvement projects by showing management ways to mentor and facilitate teams to meet their goals. 

While the principles and teaching of Toyota Kata are about developing an effective routine of implementing the strategic objectives of a company with front-line employees and management performing consistent “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycles on projects. Toyota Kata is also essential to being able to “work the plan”.

Both classes are brought into a company and taught using real-world examples that make sense to the employees.

Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance.

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Environmental Health & Safety

ATN’s EHS Team wants to remind you that we are continuing to deliver FREE monthly webinars, the second Thursday of each month, at 9:00AM CST. Please join us as we share critical information on various Environmental, Health, and Safety topics, aimed at keeping your company in compliance and your workforce safe! Here is a link to view and register for our webinars:

  • We would also like to remind you that we offer many Environmental, Health, and Safety technical services and solutions, as well. Some of these services include:
  • Compliance Assessments of your facilities and required written programs,
  • Written Program assistance to help you create and establish EHS programs,
  • Environmental Permitting Assistance – Air, Land, Water, RCRA, SARA, Title III, Form R Reporting,
  • Industrial Hygiene Monitoring and Sampling such as Noise Monitoring and Air Sampling, 
  • Ergonomics Assessments, and
  • Lockout/Tagout assistance to establish proper energy control procedures for your operations

You can view all of our Technical Services and Training Solutions here:

If we can help you with any of your EHS needs and opportunities, please contact us.

Contact us at

Food Industry

USDA awards AADA $15 million in funding to support meat and poultry processing and slaughter in Alabama. 

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has awarded AADA (Alabama Agricultural Development Authority) $15 million in funding to support the growth and expansion of meat and poultry processing and slaughter in the state with an emphasis on startup and small business. Businesses can apply for funding to support construction costs, equipment, etc. The program is projected to begin taking applications in June 2023.  

For more information, please refer to the ADAI’s (Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industry) official press release. For updates, visit the AADA program website. 

If you have any requests for other training that would be beneficial to the food industry, please reach out for discussion to

Industrial Maintenance & Technology

Belt/ Chain Drive Systems


This one-day class provides fundamentals and practical application of Belt and Chain Drive Systems. Topics include types of belts and chains, how they are used, sizes and terminology. It also covers proper installation, inspection, and failure diagnosis. The course also introduces taper-lock and Quick Disassembly Bushings and their proper usage.


At the end of this course, the student should be able to:

1.    Select and properly install sheaves and belts, chains and sprockets properly aligning them with the appropriate tension. 

2.    Check for issues that may impeded proper alignment and/or operation of the equipment.

3.    Use special tools for the selection, tensioning, alignment and preventive maintenance inspection of belt and chain drive systems.

4.    Diagnose failure modes of belt and chain drive systems. 


1.    Introduction to Belt and Chain Drives

2.    Belt and Sheave, Sprocket and Chain Installation

3.    Shaft Alignment

4.    Proper Belt and Chain Tensioning

5.    Speed, Torque, and drive Ratios

6.    Inspection and Preventive Maintenance

7.    Quick Disassembly Bushings and Taper-lock bushings

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Leadership & Management Development

Today’s workplace is a conglomerate of 5 generations. Each generation is influenced by world events and their generational culture, and the workplace is noticing a significant difference in work style and approach in these generations.  Some workplaces are hiring (or hiring back) traditionalists that are in their 70’s since their wisdom is so critical to the processes that are being performed. At the other end of the spectrum, the same companies are hiring generation Z’s who have the world of knowledge (thanks Google!), but don’t have the experience to have wisdom. Yet Generation Z’s lead the technology initiatives, work well in teams, and grew up in a world of networking. Mix that in with “Baby Boomers” who are proven to be dependable but are looking to retire in the next 10 years, “Generation X” who are used to working independently, and “millennials” who are always looking for a better and quicker way of accomplishing tasks, and you have a challenging leadership scenario. ATN’s “Generations on the work team” class seeks to understand the perspectives, look at leadership needs for each generation, and apply practical principles for effective leadership. Ready or not, Generation Z could be a quarter of our workforce in the next 10 years, and leadership will need to adapt to be successful. If done well, the potential collaboration can lead to increased profits, better teamwork, and next level success. 

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With a staff of 52 employees and over 1,000 years of combined manufacturing experience, ATN has the knowledge and capability to provide Alabama companies with services and private resources to enhance growth, improve productivity, reduce costs, and expand capacity.

Over the years, ATN has learned to perfect customer service. We pride ourselves on being a trusted local partner, to implement solutions and innovations for your company, to develop and train employees, and to assess and improve processes in the workforce, knowing you can count on us.

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