Keeping it Secure

Claborn Manufacturing Company
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Claborn Manufacturing is joining sister company Cornerstone Detention Products Inc., the world leader in security products. A key part of the Claborn Family of Companies, new, Alabama-based Claborn Manufacturing provides detention products and furniture across America.

A recent addition to the Cornerstone family, H2H2 Holding Inc. – doing business as Claborn Manufacturing Company of Athens, Alabama – “announced that it signed a definitive agreement with Pro Detention Inc. of Orange County, California, to acquire all assets including but not limited to intellectual rights of Slate Security Hollow Metal Company of Hartselle, Alabama.”

For Charles ‘Mitch’ Claborn, the news is exciting and marks another success in the corrections industry. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone Detention, his experience in the field of corrections goes back decades to the late 1970s. After working for several companies in this field, he created Cornerstone Detention Products Inc. in 1998 in a space above his garage, and never looked back.

Strategically acquiring companies over the past two decades, his family of companies has grown to include some 300 experienced staff members and a respected 20-member corporate leadership team including his brother, Executive Vice President Shannon A. Claborn; Chief Operating Officer Joseph C. Hargrove Jr.; and Chief Financial Officer John David Watts.

“We are excited to welcome Claborn Manufacturing to our Family of Companies,” says Claborn of the company, which focuses on innovative detention products. A one-stop shop, Claborn Manufacturing’s expertise includes detention wall panels and security ceilings, steel cells, wire mesh frames and door systems, security hollow metal doors, frames and windows.

Extremely knowledgeable about the industry and its requirements, Claborn Manufacturing provides clients with an array of furniture focused on the detention market. From wall-mounted desks, seats, shelves and TV shelves to floor/wall-mounted double and single bunks, pistol/rifle and key lockers, security mirrors, day room tables and more, Claborn can meet every detention facility need.

Industry cornerstone
“The Security Hollow Metal Industry has been consolidating for several years,” said Mitch Claborn in a statement. “We see the rebound and recent growth of the detention market as an opportunity to strengthen our corrections portfolio. The close proximity of Slates Plant in Hartselle, Alabama, and my personal experience of working at Slate from 1990 to 1998, will make the transition easier for our management team.

“Changing the name will allow us to focus on several new product ideas and support our other existing companies.”

The combination of Claborn Manufacturing and Cornerstone Detention Products means prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities can have all their requirements met through The Claborn Family of Companies. On the one side is Cornerstone – providing for design, construction, maintenance and other services – and on the other is Claborn Manufacturing, with security-grade ceilings, walls, hollow metal doors and other products.

Growth and employment
Claborn Manufacturing is a key Alabama-based business. An Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer, the company’s expansion necessitates hiring new staff in many areas, from workers on the production floor to administrative staff in the office.

Earlier this year, the company made headlines when it announced its relocation and expansion, transforming a former Saginaw-Delphi plant into a 300,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility, and hiring 50 new staff with higher manufacturing backgrounds.

Keeping up with the times, the company has embraced robotics and computerization, requiring skilled machine operators able to work with its new equipment. Once completed, the new 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility will manufacture everything from bunks beds to the doors used in corrections facilities, and provide much-needed jobs.

“Expanding our manufacturing is particularly exciting,” says Mitch Claborn. “I want to invest in a high-tech plant that reflects our quality and commitment in becoming the nation’s premier security hollow metal manufacturer. We are installing robotic and laser equipment that no one else in our industry utilizes and are excited about the future manufacturing possibilities that this will create.”

Schools and training
The new plant will generate taxes to be used for local schools. It will also be located near, and support, institutions such as the Alabama Robotics Technology Park (RTP), which is dedicated to robotic maintenance training and consists of: The Robotic Maintenance Training Center, The Advanced Technology Research and Development Center, The Integration, Entrepreneurial, and Paint Dispense Training Center, plus the Mobile Robotic Training Lab.

Additionally, the new facility will be near Calhoun Community College, which offers students courses in additive manufacturing, aerospace technology, robotics/mechatronics, process technology, and other valuable skills for future employment, potentially with Claborn Manufacturing.

Thanks to advancing technology, and to new equipment and expansion, Claborn anticipates healthy, double-digit growth in the next three years. While Cornerstone is presently Claborn Manufacturing’s biggest Customer, the company is working with other key clients, and is looking to add more after completion of the new plant.

Smart about corrections
Opening in the first quarter of 2020 on 35 acres, the new Claborn facility will be an impressive 300,000-plus square feet under roof, and the first Smart factory in the corrections market. Sourcing new and innovative products through trade shows, the company remains focused on investing considerable sums on money and increasing its research and development budget annually. “We are active in bringing new ideas and technology into the corrections market,” says Claborn.

Once the new plant is complete and the new machinery up and running, Claborn will be looking to expand its base, owing to the likelihood of having excess capacity, and is investigating other clients, including automotive. Considering that many of the world’s top car manufacturers, including Hyundai, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda, are located in Alabama, this is a solid market for the company.

While Claborn Manufacturing Co. and Cornerstone Detention Products Inc. continue to operate as two separate companies – Cornerstone as a service provider and contractor, and Claborn as a manufacturer – the future of both businesses remains open. “Down the road, combining both into one company is a distinct possibility,” says Mitch Claborn.



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