Bainbridge Manufacturing prepares to get business up and running

Published 8:07 pm Friday, December 12, 2014

Locals often drive down Hwy. 84 past the Bainbridge Manufacturing building and roll their eyes. Two or three cars total may be in the parking lot. The launch of the company expected to create hundreds of jobs in Decatur County has taken years. Is it ever going to actually happen?

CEO Abraham Levy acknowledges these perceptions and wants to make clear that despite the low activity in the parking lot, the inside of Bainbridge Manufacturing is busier than ever.

With the main section of the equipment the company will use to manufacture heat exchange components for cars, homes and industry already in the plant, Levy expects the remaining equipment to arrive in the next two to three months.

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“The main piece of equipment is already here, and that’s going to take about two months to assemble,” Levy said. “The other pieces of equipment are going to be assembled simultaneously. It should be completed sometime by the end of March.”

Levy said April is the target month for Bainbridge Manufacturing to begin their major production. Jobs are expected to begin opening from February to March. For the ultimate vision of the company, Levy said there would be at least 250 jobs.

During the initial three years, however, he said there would be at least 80 jobs. Positions will range from engineers, human resources, accounting, packaging and loading. Levy said he’s already received more than 200 resumes from the tri-county area.

“We have it planned how many people we need at this station and at this production line,” Levy said. “And keep in mind we’re going to be operating three shifts. So we’ll have no problem getting to the 80 (jobs).”

To help facilitate a future of local workers, Bainbridge Manufacturing plans to bring programs to Bainbridge State College. Students will train in robotics and automation to learn the basics before going to work at the plant. Levy hopes to have the programs up and running in the first and second quarters of 2015.

In addition to college prep, Levy plans to begin a summer internship program for high school students.

“We need to look toward the future to have a steady supply of employees,” Levy said. “I think it’s important high school students spend a summer internship here where they’ll learn how to program equipment, program robots, learn how to write G-code for the equipment and learn a little bit about engineering.”

Fully ingraining Bainbridge Manufacturing into the community is how Levy plans for the company to grow (their slogan is “Build here, grow here”).

In the five years since developing the concept, Levy and Bainbridge Manufacturing have spent thousands in the local economy.

When they bought the former Traco building, electricians rewired the facility. A local company did it. They renovated the air conditioning system. Harrell King took care of the job. They hired a local landscaper to clean up the premises. Internet, insulation, you name it—all of it from local businesses.

“While you don’t see say the jobs being created, we’re investing in the community,” Levy said.

Levy has spent five years chasing his passion of getting Bainbridge Manufacturing off the ground and running. Seeing his vision within half a year of fully operating is exciting to him.

“I think that we can make product here in Bainbridge better than anybody else in the world,” Levy said. “There are a lot of people looking for American-made product. Nobody can outcompete us, nobody can outsmart us, and I think we can make it better than anybody else. We also have a lot of smart people here, and I think we can out-innovate anybody.”