Mississippi railcar facilities holding job fairs after $30 million expansion

Published 8:30 am Saturday, March 18, 2023

AITX’s $30 million investment to add 100 jobs with a new facility expansion is getting closer to completion. Steve West, general manager of the Brookhaven and Bude AITX facilities, said they are hoping for a late June or early July completion.

The expansion project includes a repair shop which will have space for 18 more railcars, an increase from their current six car spot. Plant managers will have new offices, a fabrication shop will be able to make smaller parts and a giant warehouse facility will be a place where cars are repainted.

West gives a report once a month to Mississippi and his last report showed they were between 70 percent to 75 percent finished with the expansion. Rain set progress back at the start of the year but they have made it to a stage where any future rains will not hold progress up.

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“Our completion date could change a little either way, but the repair shop is pretty well finished,” West said. “Of course, they still have gas and water they will have to run. Those are underway right now. Office areas are being painted, flooring is being put down and ceilings are being put up. Our last hurdle is the transfer table. It will move a 65,000-pound rail car to either end of the building. It will be an undertaking of electrical work.”

He said they hope to have a grand opening later in the year.

AITX is still hiring employees to fill the 100 plus new jobs the north facility will create. He said they have 30 employees working on the south side of Industrial Park Road and have been hiring new employees steadily to prepare for the new opening.

West said the Bude facility has undertaken training 50 people for when the north facility opens. All the 50 new hires for Brookhaven will transfer from Bude. It is a different approach than what AITX has done in the past.

“Most plants start hiring when they get ready to build. This is the first time we have been able to train them for a new plant before it is completed because of how close our two locations are,” West said. “We do job fairs at the Holiday Inn in Brookhaven. We will have a job fair next week on March 21-23, we hope to pick up more. It has been a successful recruiting tool. A lot of good quality candidates are there and it speaks well for our area. They might have welding or coating experience. Next week, we hope to find someone with office administrative experience for our HR needs.”