Roadtec, a subsidiary of the Chattanooga-based Astec Industries, announced plans to relocate some of its production now done in Tacoma, WA to its Chattanooga facilities, where Roadtec currently employs more than 400 workers. The $6.2 million expansion will add 128 jobs to the facility.
The expansion in Tennessee comes as a result of the January closure of the Carlson Paving Products facility in Tacoma, WA.
"Our decision to close this facility was not an easy one, but after careful consideration we think it is a necessary step in our journey to Simplify, Focus and Grow the Astec family," Barry Ruffalo, president and CEO of Astec Industries, Inc said in a statement. "We are incredibly proud of the strong, innovative Carlson brand screed and paver products. I want to assure you that although manufacturing at the Tacoma site will cease, the Carlson product lines will continue. We will continue to support the Carlson brand equipment and be connected to our dealers and customers to ensure a smooth transition in all aspects of operations."
Roadtec, like many other construction equipment manufacturers, is expected to benefit from plans in Washington to boost support for highway, roads and bridge construction through a federal infrastructure bill. The Chattanooga Free Press reports that Roadtec also is boosting sales from a new materials transfer vehicle, the Shuttle Buggy 3000, which Astec introduced a year ago as the latest transfer vehicle in the 32-year history of Roadtec building such equipment.
"We'll be transitioning some of product lines (from Tacoma) to the Manufacturers Road facility and this will help with our overall growth strategy," said Steve Anderson, senior vice president for administration and investor relations at Astec Industries. Anderson added that Astec is still considering other manufacturing opportunities at the Tacoma facility as the expansion begins in Tennessee.
"Roadtec has been a valued Hamilton County company for over 30 years, and I am grateful that this expansion will bring new jobs to Chattanooga's business community," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in an announcement of the manufacturing addition. "When companies choose to expand in Tennessee, it underscores our pro-business climate and highly skilled workforce, and we thank Roadtec for its continued commitment to Tennessee."
Astec Industries, which former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga engineering professor Don Brock started in 1972, is a global leader in equipment manufacturing for road building and aggregate processing and also operates the Astec-brand manufacturing complex on Jerome Avenue and a Heatec factory on Wilson Road, along with its corporate headquarters on Shepherd Road.
The latest job additions will boost Astec's total employment in Chattanooga to more than 1,500 workers, or nearly half of the company's 3,700-employee workforce employed at 25 sites around the globe.
The company manufactures more than 100 products from rock crushing and screening plants to hot mix asphalt (HMA) facilities, concrete plants, milling machines, asphalt pavers and material transfer vehicles.
"Our vision is about building connections whether it's to our customers, employees or the communities where we operate," Ruffalo said. "We have enjoyed a strong partnership with the state of Tennessee, city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. We look forward to strengthening that connection and bringing more growth and opportunity to the area."