Driving Our Economy Forward: Astec Industries

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — When you drive down the road, think about Astec Industries in Chattanooga.

Workers there make the equipment used to build roads to connect people, goods, and services.

The company’s been serving the Tennessee Valley and the world for almost 50 years.

Astec talked to News 12 about how they’re driving our economy forward.

“ASTEC Industries was founded in 1972 in Chattanooga, so this happens to be our 50th anniversary year which we’re quite proud of,” said Tim Averkamp, group president. “ASTEC’s a global manufacturer of heavy equipment used in asphalt production and concrete production, aggregate crushing and screening, environmental recycling and road building.”

Averkamp says they play a big role in the transportation industry.

“Our people manufacture the equipment that’s used to build the roads and connect people and goods and services that we use every day. When you drive there on the road think about Aztec,” he said. “Our equipment is being used by our customers to create those roads. The crushed rock that’s below, the paved surfaces, we’re part of that contribution to help connect our infrastructure from place to place. So ASTEC globally has 4,000 employees, and in the local Chattanooga area we employ about 1,800 employees.”

And workers take pride in the products they’re building.

“I know when I see a piece of our equipment on a job site, I know how much effort and time went in to make a great quality product. Our employees are very proud of the products that they make,” Averkamp said.

Workers say they also love their coworkers.

“The people are mainly, and my job especially is the reason for coming here,” said Coy Hampton, painter 3. “It’s like a family away from family, and that’s probably the best thing I could – best answer I can give you to really explain it. But it pays well, and like I said, it’s a family away from home.”

Averkamp says workers also get good training to do their jobs well.

“Consider the type of work that we do in the growth that we have overall,” Averkamp said. “We have a variety of career opportunities available to individuals. We have a critical need for skilled positions like welders, assemblers, technicians and electricians. Local education systems and workforce planning programs really help create awareness around the opportunities and help prepare individuals for a career in our industry. The schools not only help the students but also help teachers, parents, and the general public about what modern manufacturing is and the career opportunities that are available. So at the moment, we have about 150 positions open. Beyond that we are always looking for talented individuals that share the same values that we do and are also willing to learn and develop with their careers. You know for individuals who aren’t sure if college is right for them, or if the expense is the right mix, there’s an opportunity to start your career right now and start earning and saving for some of your future life goals whatever those are.”


Categories: Driving Our Economy Forward, Jobs & Economy, Local News