A $2 million expansion at Lock Joint Tube could bring as many as 25 new jobs to the Temple facility over the next two years.

Construction should be completed in two weeks on a new 78,000-square-foot storage facility at the Eberhardt Road plant, said Trent Childress, vice president and general manager of Lock Joint Tube in Texas. Work started in late spring, he said. The addition is the company’s third in 12 years.

The facility primarily produces steel tubing for store fixtures, school furniture and fencing. The expansion is expected to generate 500 new loads of shipping traffic per year, enabling production of additional galvanized tubes for chain link fences, greenhouses and boat docks, Childress said.

Currently, 100 employees work at the 280,000-square-foot facility. The number is expected to rise to 112 by next summer and 125 by 2013, Childress said. “For us to continue to increase our manufacturing capacity, we had to build warehouse space to house finished materials,” Childress said. “Our owners like the business atmosphere we have here in Temple and that’s why they continue to spend money here and allow us to grow.”

Lock Joint Tube’s long-term plan calls for another facility about the same size as the building under construction within three to five years, he added.

Created jobs will include supervisory, materials handling and mill operator positions. The project comes on the heels of an $8.3 million expansion announced by Pactiv in June, which will bring 86 new jobs to Bell County.

“In this economy, to see two of our gold star companies make such a substantial expansion is wonderful for us,” said Lee Peterson, president of the Temple Economic Development Corp. “It says doing business in Temple, Texas, is good; it’s working well; and we like it so much we want to do some more. “We think it’s a sign that things are getting better and we are going to see growth of our existing industry as well as some new things as we go along,” he added.

Indiana-based Lock Joint Tube is a privately owned member of the Lerman Enterprise. In addition to Temple, its facilities are in Chattanooga, Tenn., and South Bend, Ind.

About Temple:
Temple, Texas is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as the foundation. Within 180 miles of a population of 17.8 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the southwest U.S. marketplace.