A locomotive manufacturing company is reopening its plant in Paducah in an effort that could bring back almost 200 jobs to the city.
Illinois-based National Railroad Equipment almost completely closed down its Paducah plant in 2017 because of a downturn in business, tied to less demand for shipping coal and agricultural commodities.
NRE Vice President Angela Holmes said the railroad industry has recovered enough for the company to expand again. But the company plans to hire at a slow pace because of what she said is to account for the railroad industry’s cyclical nature.
“We want to do it right and at a slow and steady pace...we could just fill [the plant] up and do the projects quickly, but that’s not the approach we wanted to take,” said Holmes. “I think as a company we’ve changed a lot and learned a lot in that downturn. And we feel like that is going to make us more successful.”
Holmes said the company plans to hire 30 people by the end of the year to do light repair work. She said the plant in the future could have up to 200 employees if business goes well. She also said the company is currently looking to hire welders, general laborers and people with locomotive experience.