CTCO prepares to open in January

Published 11:34 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CTCO Shipyard of Alabama LLC is setting up shop at the Demopolis Airport Industrial Park, and there is still some work to do before the business opens in January.

“We do new construction on tugs and barges,” said general manager Kenneth Lackey. “Right now, we’ve got two tugs under construction, and we’re doing the engineering on several barges.”

Lackey said that while there was some work going on, a lot of work was being done to the facility to get it ready for work.

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“We’re doing about 50 percent production work and 50 percent trying to get the building ready,” he said. “Before we came in here, there were wires hanging everywhere. We spent about two months to get it to where you could cut the power on and walk in here.

“We’re trying to get the building ready. We’ve got some new equipment that we need to get installed; we’ve got to fabricate part of it. We’re waiting on materials for our burn table right now, so we can burn our own steel here.”

Lackey said that he is aware of people who are interested in getting a job with CTCO Shipyard of Alabama, but the company will be using the state employment service to do its hiring.

“All hiring will be done through AIDT (Alabama Industrial Development Training),” he said. “We’re going to run it through the state; we’re going to do the training through the state. We felt that it would be more of an equitable way of hiring people.”

Lackey confirmed that the plant would begin by hiring about 50 people, then build up to about 100 employees.

“The training (through the state) will give people some skills so that we can employ them,” he said.

Information about AIDT can be found through its Web site, www.aidt.edu.

Lackey said that most of the tugs and barges constructed at the Demopolis plant will go to inland waterways and intercoastal areas.

CTCO is a privately owned, very solid business, with a heritage of innovative marine equipment construction,” said Debra M. Fox, executive director of the Marengo County Economic Development Authority. “While visiting the corporate headquarters of CTCO Shipyard of Louisiana LLC, it was clear that the company is a top-notch operation.† The environment there was extremely positive, and the employees were clearly proud to be part of the CTCO family.† The Demopolis plant will be a great place to work, and it is exciting for barges to be manufactured again, some 20 years later, in the Airport Industrial Park.”

Lackey said he appreciated the hard work of Jay Shows, who was the chair of the Demopolis Industrial Development Board, as well as that of Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson and Fox.

The location of CTCO Shipyards of Alabama LLC involved many people over a period of time,” Fox said. “The Demopolis Industrial Board and former executive secretary Jay Shows, Demopolis mayor and city council, Marengo County Commission, Marengo County Economic Development Authority, Demopolis Water and Sewer Board, Demopolis Public Works, Marengo County Engineer, Alabama Power and Norfolk Southern all worked together to make this a reality.

“We were fortunate to have many state and regional resources at the table:†aAlabama-Tombigbee Regional Planning Commission, Alabama Development Office, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alabama Department of Revenue, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Industrial Development Training, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation Panel.† RockTenn should also be recognized for corporate citizenry extended during this process.