Updated at 5:57 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
One of the nation's biggest makers of fire hydrants and water valves is expanding its Chattanooga plant and plans to add 96 more jobs over the next three years.
Mueller Water Products, the Atlanta-based hydrant maker which acquired U.S. Pipe & Foundry in 2005, said Tuesday it is boosting production capacity at its 532,000-square-foot plant at 1401 Mueller Ave, just off Amnicola Highway, to help meet the growing demand for water infrastructure products among municipalities as cities rebuild their aging infrastructure.
Mueller Water Products
* Headquarters: Atlanta
* Founded: 1857
* Operating segments: Mueller Co. and Anvil
* Products: Valves, fire hydrants, metering products and systems, leak detection and pipe condition assessment
* 2017 revenues: $826 million
* 2017 net income: $123.3 million
* Local operations: 532,00-square-foot plant and office at 1401 Mueller Avenue, just off Amnicola Highway, in Chattanooga, a 109,500-square-foot plant in Cleveland, Tenn., and a 22,000-square foot research and development office downtown at 633 Chestnut Street
Mueller, which opened a separate research and development office in Chattanooga six years ago and recently moved the R&D and corporate offices downtown to 633 Chestnut St., also is expanding its 109,500-square-foot plant in Cleveland, Tenn. Mueller also operates a plant nearby in Albertville, Ala.
"This is an exciting time for our company and we are very pleased to bring more job opportunities to the Chattanooga community," Scott Hall, president and CEO of Mueller Water Products, said in an announcement of the plant addition. "The expansion of our Chattanooga facility will allow us to address the growing demand for U.S. manufactured water infrastructure products while also investing in growing cities like Chattanooga."
The company plans to begin hiring the extra workers to staff the expanded operations in early 2019. Mueller currently employs 604 workers in Chattanooga and Cleveland.
Bob Rolfe, commissioner for Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development, said Mueller's planned expansion "speaks volumes to our skilled workforce, Tennessee's favorable environment for manufacturing companies and the strong partnership among the state, Tennessee Valley Authority and local officials."
State, local and TVA economic development officials worked with Mueller on the expansion, but the manufacturer is not seeking property tax exemptions for the plant investment, officials said Tuesday.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said business expansions like what is planned by Mueller "are driving Chattanooga's wage growth and low unemployment."
Unemployment in Hamilton County dropped this spring to only 2.8 percent — the lowest monthly rate in modern times.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 757-6340.