Alabaster business named top place to work for 2021; receives visit from Gov. Ivey

Published 1:17 pm Saturday, April 2, 2022

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By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – An Alabaster business was recently awarded the 2021 Best Place to Work within the North American Rubber Industry.

This award prompted a visit from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who toured the facility of Specification Rubber Products on March 21.

The business, located at 1568 First Street North was originally founded in 1968, and is a subsidiary of American Cast Iron Pipe Company. The company is the pre-eminent supplier of rubber gaskets and sealing products within the United States.

Since opening in 1968, the business has grown into the current 85,000-square-foot facility, with the hopes of expansion in the near future due to new product manufacturing that will begin this summer.

The sole plant in Alabaster produces more than 2 million rubber components per year, according to a spokesperson for the company. Specification Rubber Products prides itself as an ISO-9001 certified company.

An example of this product can be found in components intended for drinking water, which has an application of NSF-61 certified.

Specification Rubber Products President Steven Smith said Gov. Ivey’s visit spoke volumes to the company for her to come and recognize the work the employees are doing.

“It helped make an extraordinary day even more extraordinary,” Smith said.

The celebration began with an overview of Specification Rubber’s operations and products by Marketing and Sales Manager Wesley Helton.

Helton said the company will ship 2 million rubber components to its customers in 2022, including the Amarillo gasket that is used with American’s ductile iron pipe.

“We are so fortunate to have such great teammates who put their heart and soul into Specification Rubber Products on a daily basis,” Helton said. “Without their support and love of this company, we would never have had a chance at winning such a prestigious award.”

Ivey and others toured Specification Rubber’s manufacturing operations, and the celebration ended as Gov. Ivey spoke to the crowd of employees and guests.

“It is quite an accomplishment to be the number one rubber maker in the U.S.,” Ivey said in a release. “Without all of you, we wouldn’t have the components to make clean water.”

The “Best Places to Work” program recognizes and honors companies in the rubber industry for outstanding employee satisfaction.

The rubber industry is defined as companies who make rubber products, as well as suppliers or providers of services for the rubber industry.

“Determining the best places to work involves a two-step process,” a company spokesperson said. “The first step involves an evaluation of participating companies’ workplace policies, practices and demographics. In the second step, employee surveys are conducted to directly assess the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. The combined scores determine the top organizations and the final ranking.”

Specification Rubber Products Customer Service Manager Paige Harkins said the company is unique because of the teammates within the company.

“We are very proud of our very experienced and diverse team here at Spec Rubber,” Harkins said. “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have many devoted employees, some of which have worked well over 25 years with the company. Our most senior employee is going on her 45th year with the company.”

For more information about the company, visit