It's been a big week for Braidy Industries.
It started off Monday morning with a pair of significant company announcements — the acquisition of Veloxint, a high tech metals company that is expected to compliment Braidy's $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill at EastPark Industrial Center. That same morning Braidy said it completed a $75 million Series B common stock offering. Later in the week, Braidy Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard spoke to a packed room full of potential employees interested in enrolling in Ashland Community & Technical College's Advanced Integrated Technology associate degree program, which is a training program offering industrial based courses. Those who complete the program could lead to a position at Braidy -- a company that plans to offer jobs paying $65,000 a year in a region struggling to create new jobs.
This week The Daily Independent sat down with Mr. Bouchard to talk about Veloxint, the stock offering, ACTC and where he sees Braidy fitting into the region's Tri-State economy.
Veloxint's origins are traced to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company offers a technologies for advanced manufacturing that the company says reduce materials and energy waste. The end result as it applies to Braidy means Braidy can produce lighter yet stronger metals.
"The importance of this acquisition simply can't be told well enough," Bouchard said. "This company, Veloxint, which we are purchasing, was born at MIT. It has some of the best scientists in the world as employees and is today producing metal alloys that are the strongest, hardest alloys ever made by man. I became fascinated with it the first day that I met them in Cambridge because the synergy with the mill that we are building is perfect.
"Think of the (aluminum) mill as making the skin of automobiles, airplanes, jet fighters, rocket ships, electric vehicles, and think of this company (Veloxint) as making ultra high-strength and much lighter parts to go inside those vehicles. Anything from wrenches to drive trains to gears. There are many many parts in an automobile -- anything that's made of metal that's a part inside the car or the plane is eligible for what we do."
Bouchard said the Veloxint acquisition fits in line with Braidy's strategy to help manufacturers of transportation products like auto makers meet legal requirements to provide lighter vehicles with better fuel economy. This is commonly referred to as CAFE standards. The Department of Transportation says CAFE standards are fleet-wide averages of fuel economy each year.