published Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

LJT in $2 million expansion

A Chattanooga steel service center is expanding with a $2 million addition to its plant in the Centre South Riverport, officials said Friday.

LJT/Steel Warehouse of Chattanooga announced it will buy 1.7 more acres in the riverport industrial park and add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space, according to the company.

The expansion is expected to create six jobs, boosting its work force to about 200, a company official said.

Michael Donnelly, vice president of engineering and facilities, said the business also will increase warehouse space, helping it extend into more markets. No schedule was given for the expansion.

The Chattanooga facility opened in 2002 with six employees and 110,000-square feet of manufacturing space. It now has 325,000 square feet.

Last year, the company announced an $11 million expansion at the site.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said the latest investment is a testament to creation of high-value manufacturing jobs by forging partnerships.

"We look forward to partnering with the company on their next expansion," he said.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said the expansion "is another example of the job-generating power of existing business and industry."

Trevor Hamilton, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said LJT/Steel Warehouse's continued growth is evidence the business group's focus on existing business is reaping dividends.

LJT/Steel Warehouse is a division of Indiana-based Lerman Enterprises.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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