A long-vacant Courtland Manufacturing building off U.S. 460 in Appomattox is springing back to life, thanks to three local entrepreneurs and one state-of-the-art water-powered metal cutter.
Joey Coleman, Frankie Drewry and Menti Purita, all career metal fabricators, decided to go out on their own and launched TriTech Solutions of Virginia last December.
Their facility is mostly a “job shop,” Purita said, taking contracts for metal parts from companies ranging from bottle manufacturers to food processors to some in the area’s nuclear industry.
Despite launching just a few months ago, TriTech’s owners say their years of experience in the field have given them plenty of contacts to immediately grow their client list. And they’re hoping the latest addition to their company, a $250,000 five-axis water jet metal cutter, will draw in even more business.
Most metal fabricators have three-axis jets, Coleman said, meaning they can cut something along its length, width or height but need to use a separate tool to create a beveled edge.
TriTech’s machine can tilt its head, allowing the company to do all the needed sculpting at once, maximizing efficiency and cutting down on time spent per job.
By the end of the year, Coleman said, they’d like to hire between six and eight people and double their workforce in 2014.
In three years, Purita said, they’re looking at employing about 20 people.
Jeff Taylor, Appomattox County’s economic development director, said while TriTech is far from the scale of the county’s longtime employer Thomasville Furniture, which closed in 2011, he’d much rather see 10 or 15 new companies with 20 employees apiece in the county than one giant company with 500 workers that can go under at any time.
“That’s the kind of business we can look forward to in this community,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s also happy to see the old building, vacant since 1999, put to good use.
“After people working back in there for all those years making clothes, it’s nice to get somebody in there,” he said.
For TriTech’s owners, the combination of office space, wide-open warehouse space and proximity to a major roadway made the facility a great fit for what they needed.
“It’s perfect,” Purita said.
Contact Eleanor Kennedy at (434) 385-5524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.