Phillips Machine Holdings LLC, which currently operates as Phillips Bros. Machine Co. in Rossville, is expanding its business into the old plant and adding new jobs to the area in the process.
Phillips Bros. Machine Co. manufactures heavy equipment and does steady business with, among others, Alstom in Chattanooga, a power systems manufacturer, and Heil Co. out of Fort Payne, Ala., which builds waste handling products.
The business is run by owner Randy Phillips, who grew the company from its humble beginnings in his father’s basement in 1974, and his son Michael Phillips, who acts as plant manager.
The business has now grown so much that Phillips’s longtime location at 530 Mission Ridge Road in Rossville can no longer handle the amount of orders coming in. After nearly a year of negotiating with Walker County, Phillips signed a lease-purchase backed by a $3 million bond through The Bank of LaFayette on May 31.
Randy Phillips has already begun moving heavy pieces of equipment in to the 271,000-square-foot facility next to the Barwick-LaFayette Airport, and he plans to complete the move by the end of July.
The move will also be bringing new jobs to the LaFayette area. Phillips currently employs about 60 people; it hopes to expand to a total of 100 in the new space.
“We’ve already hired approximately 10, and hopefully we’ll have another 10 here soon and another 20 to follow shortly thereafter,” said Phillips.
Phillips Bros. Machine Co. has purchased the entire building, as well as 45 of the 125 surrounding acres of land. The remaining 80 acres is being retained by the Walker County Development Authority, with hopes to eventually attract another business to the industrial-ready site.