Pending approval by Morristown City Council, Advanced Tool & Machine will join the industrial growth taking place throughout Hamblen County.
“We moved from a 65,000 square foot building to this 25,000 square foot space, so we’re busting at the seams already, and we need new equipment for some current jobs that we’ve got quoted and are ready to run, but just need room to put the equipment in,” owner Marla Seals said.
The request for approval, initially presented to the Morristown Industrial Development Board on Thursday, is the purchase of approximately four acres adjacent to the company’s current property, located in the East Tennessee Progress Center.
“Marla’s done a tremendous job in the old Helm Tool & Die facility,” Board Charmain R. Jack Fishman said. “It’s absolutely fabulous, the technology that’s in that plant.”
The immediate need is combined with the projected needs related to Van Hool, the international bus company set to locate in ETPC.
“We plan on putting a 40,000 square foot building there to accommodate that. Also, with Van Hool coming in, we’ve been quoting jobs for them and have been invited out to Macedonia — we’ll go out in October to see their plant — so that will require some other equipment, as well,” Seals said.
Projected new jobs for the expansion are 16-20 in the first year, followed by up to 100 over the next five to 10 years, based on Van Hool projections for its needs.
“Coming up immediately, we have some projects that we need to go ahead and start moving,” Seals said.
A quorum of the board voted unanimously to recommend to the city council the approval of the sale of the land.
“I’d like to personally thank Marla and her father, Norman Helm, for their efforts in this particular area,” Fishman said. “Unless you are involved very intricately with the industry that we have in Morristown and the surrounding area, you may not be aware that the tool and die work they do there is critical to a lot of our industries. Without that, they would have to go elsewhere for the products, or probably, they wouldn’t locate here to start with, without the technology that Marla and her folks have out there. It’s a tremendous thing.”
Helm founded his company in 1975; Seals purchased the company and re-named it in 2017, initially leasing a building in the East Tennessee Valley Industrial District before moving back to the original location of Helm Tool & Die earlier this year.
Industrial expansions continue in ETPC and ETVID. McNeilus, a new plant to be located in ETPC, has received approval from the city for plans regarding its 100,000 square foot facility. Construction is underway on the site, with partial steel laid and footings poured.
Also in ETPC, on Technology Way, the new facility for Atmos Energy is under way, with steel up and a roof installed on the office area. Construction on Daniel Paul Chairs’ new facility in ETVID is in the site work and grading phase.