The Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network have named eight Alabama companies as finalists for the state’s annual Manufacturer of the Year Award. The 15-year old award program recognizes Alabama manufacturing companies that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability and work-force relations. Two East Alabama companies have been included in the list of finalists for this year. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden is a finalist in the large company division for the third year in a row. Goodyear is celebrating 85 years in Gadsden this year and has traditionally been one of East Alabama’s largest employers. A newcomer to the Manufacturer of the Year Awards list is Back Forty Beer Company which is a finalist in the small company division. The Gadsden-based brewery started its operations back in 2011 and has seen its business and sales reach grow exponentially in a short period of time. Manufacturer of the Year winners will be announced tomorrow during an awards luncheon in Montgomery. The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County will also be hosting a reception in honor of the two companies’ tomorrow afternoon. The reception will be held at 4:30pm in the board room at The Chamber office in Gadsden.