News and Events

Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe announce ERMCO to expand manufacturing jobs in Dyersburg

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 / State Gazette, Dyersburg, TN

Company to invest $12 million in expansion, create 150 new jobs

On Tuesday, Governor Bill Lee visited Dyersburg to help announce that ERMCO would be expanding operations, investing $12 million and creating approximately 150 new jobs. The governor, along with Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, addressed those in attendance at ERMCO’s newest facility on Hoff Road during an announcement and ribbon cutting ceremony. Following the ceremony, both Lee and Rolfe toured the facility. State Gazette photo/ Brandon Hutcheson

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and ERMCO, Inc. officials announced Tuesday afternoon that the company will expand its manufacturing operations in Dyersburg. The transformer manufacturer will invest approximately $12 million and create 150 new jobs in Dyer County.

Headquartered in Dyersburg, ERMCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). With all of its products produced in the United States, ERMCO is one of the largest producers of oil-filled distribution transformers and transformer components in the U.S. The company has been in operation in Dyersburg since 1971.

Tennessee ECD Director Bob Rolfe (left) and ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert (right) speak to those gathered during Tuesday afternoon’s announcement and ribbon cutting ceremony. State Gazette photo/Brandon Hutcheson

Tuesday’s announcement and ribbon cutting was due to ERMCO adding to its Dyer County footprint by expanding its operations into a third building to keep up with the company’s demand. The company’s new building was the former home of Caterpillar, Inc., located at 2000 Hoff Road in Dyersburg.

The announcement occurred shortly after 12 Noon Tuesday at ERMCO’s newest facility. A large gathering of community members, Dyersburg and Dyer County officials, state officials, Dyersburg/ Dyer County Chamber of Commerce staff and diplomats, and ERMCO administration and employees were in attendance.

Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe were also present at Tuesday’s event.

“Tennessee’s strong advanced manufacturing industry, which employs 170,000 Tennesseans, makes it the perfect location for a company like ERMCO to expand operations. I’m pleased that ERMCO sees the advantages of doing business in Dyer County, and I thank them for creating 150 new jobs in Dyersburg,” stated Governor Lee.

“I congratulate ERMCO on its decision to expand its operations in Dyersburg,” added Commissioner Rolfe. “Tennessee continues to see major growth in the manufacturing sector, with Tennessee’s advanced manufacturing job creation far outpacing national growth. I thank ERMCO for continuing to strengthen our advanced manufacturing industry in our state with the creation of these 150 new jobs in Dyersburg.”

ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert praised the nearly 1,400 employees that make up the company. Reffert stated, “Our dedicated workforce in Dyersburg has enabled ERMCO to become the premier distribution transformer manufacturer in the U.S. We have been able to increase our business by over 10 percent for five years in a row. The new factory we are adding to our footprint in Dyersburg will allow us to continue to serve our partners with the short lead times they depend upon. We are very excited about our future.”

Dyersburg Mayor John Holden and Dyer County Mayor Chris Young issued the following statements:

Governor Lee tours the newest ERMCO facility with Bill Reffert, the company's president and CEO (above). State Gazette photo/Brandon Hutcheson

 “This is certainly an exciting day for Dyersburg. Existing manufacturers are very important to us, and I appreciate the confidence and trust ERMCO has in our community by continuing to grow and expand in Dyersburg,” said Holden. “I am thankful for a great relationship with ERMCO and the employment opportunities available as a result of its continued growth.”

 “ERMCO has been one of our leading employers in Dyer County for many years and is currently our largest employer. We are blessed to have ERMCO as part of our community and couldn’t ask for a better partner to move Dyer County forward,” added Young. “Congratulations to plant manager Bill Reffert and his staff for this expansion.”

State Senator Ed Jackson stated, “This is great news that ERMCO is expanding its operations into Dyersburg and Northwest Tennessee. I congratulate Mayor Holden, Mayor Young, Commissioner Rolfe, Governor Lee and the Dyersburg Chamber for working closely with ERMCO to make this happen. This will be a much-needed boost by bringing quality jobs to Northwest Tennessee. Thank you, ERMCO, for growing in our community.”

“TVA and Dyersburg Electric System congratulate ERMCO on its decision to expand operations in Dyersburg and create new job opportunities,” added TVA General Manager of Global Business Heidi Smith. “It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s continued commitment to invest in the region. We are proud to partner with Dyersburg Chamber of Commerce, City of Dyersburg, Dyer County and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help facilitate ERMCO’s continued success in the Valley.”

Following the facility tour, Governor Lee and Reffert conduct the ribbon cutting ceremony. State Gazette photo / Brandon Hutcheson

Following the ceremony, Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe toured the new facility. The governor also took a moment to speak with ERMCO employees to learn more about their job in the company.

Following the tour, Governor Lee spoke with the State Gazette and other media sources.

“Rural Tennessee job creation is really important. ERMCO has been in this part of the country and this part of Tennessee for many, many years, and they are continuing to invest here. We came here to celebrate a company that is creating jobs and that is creating investment and they are doing it in northwest Tennessee and a part of rural Tennessee that particularly matters to me.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee speaks with those in attendance at ERMCO's expansion announcment Tuesday afternoon. State Gazette photo/Brandon Hutcheson.

 “These types of jobs [manufacturing] are the backbone of our economy, and we need to create an education system that develops this type of workforce,” the governor added. “We need to celebrate when these types of jobs are created and expanded.”

When asked about his tour of the facility and what he learned from ERMCO employees, Governor Lee responded, “What I saw were hardworking folks who are getting it done. They are creating products right here in Tennessee that are being used all across the country. This is a manufacturing facility that has had expansion upon expansion because of the workforce in this particular community. It is an example of when a community partners with private sector and state government – jobs are created, products are created, and wields prosperity for Tennessee.

Since 2013, Tennessee Economic and Community Development has supported 23 projects in Dyer County, resulting in the creation of more than 1,700 new jobs and approximately $158 million in capital investment.

ERMCO Acquires Power Electronics Pioneer GridBridge

Combined Entity Poised to Lead the Utility Industry and Commercial Sector’s Move to Smarter Electrical Distribution

Dyersburg, TN, June 19, 2017—ERMCO, a leading manufacturer of distribution transformers and transformer components, announced today a definitive agreement to acquire GridBridge Corporation, a privately held, leading power delivery systems company headquartered in Raleigh, NC. GridBridge’s innovative Energy Router Platform combined with ERMCO’s half a century manufacturing expertise make the combined company a potent leader in the rapidly evolving electricity distribution market.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Teaming up with GridBridge was a strategic decision prompted by increasing customer requests for advanced power management capability,” said Bill Reffert, President and CEO of ERMCO. “GridBridge’s Grid Energy Router (GER) has proven it can solve grid related problems our customers are asking for help with now. Equally attractive is that their product pipeline and power electronics expertise enables us to continue to support customers over time as they seek to manage distributed generation and storage, while also improving efficiency and reliability.”

GridBridge’s Energy Router Platform will serve as the basis for a new division focused on providing utility and commercial customers with a set of innovative power delivery solutions. These products will permit them to handle increasingly complex electrical distribution problems.  In particular, they will support electrical distribution grid modernization by empowering customers to integrate renewable generation and energy storage, significantly increase network efficiency and improve overall reliability and increase resilience.

“ERMCO is the perfect partner for us to broaden our impact,” added GridBridge’s CEO, Chad Eckhardt. “In a short period our team has demonstrated it can successfully transform our innovative R&D into viable products at the grid edge. As a combined entity, with access to ERMCO’s manufacturing capability, financial resources and market expertise, we can scale quickly to deliver a wider set of solutions to our customers.

“Combining the traditional role of the transformer with the additional functionality of GridBridge’s power electronics technology empowers us to deliver new capabilities to our customers,” continued Reffert. “ERMCO has been a superior transformer supplier to utilities and commercial power users since the 1970’s in a market that changed very little. Working with GridBridge over the past year, seeing what their products can do in the field, recognizing that they have an extremely talented team and now knowing that we can confidently meet customer demand for this functionality is exciting for our company.”

Post-merger, GridBridge will remain in North Carolina and operate under its name as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ERMCO, with Eckhardt serving as President. Bill Reffert will continue as President and CEO for ERMCO, overseeing this new subsidiary.

About ERMCO

ERMCO (Electric Research and Manufacturing Cooperative, Inc.) is headquartered in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), Little Rock, Arkansas. ERMCO was founded in 1964 and is one of the largest producers of oil filled distribution transformers and transformer components in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.ermco-eci.com.

About GridBridge

Since its founding in 2012, GridBridge has partnered with the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to develop breakthrough power delivery systems for a range of vital worldwide applications. Combining years of research in advanced electronics with innovative software, GridBridge’s platform-based products give customers unprecedented electric power delivery versatility and dependability. For more information visit  http://www.grid-bridge.com.

 

ERMCO enters into distribution arrangement with United Utility Supply

Friday, January 8, 2016
Special to The State Gazette
RACHEL TOWNSEND [email protected]

Recently released in the Louisville Business Press, 100 employees working at the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives Inc. (KAEC), will need to start looking for new jobs, as the cooperative has now decided that its transformer manufacturing operation in Louisville will be shutting down as part of a shift to a distribution-only business model.

The Louisville cooperative filed a Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification with the state on Dec. 29.

"Making this transition has been a difficult decision, but it comes after careful analysis of KAEC's position and realistic assessment of the challenges we face in the marketplace," stated KAEC President and CEO Chris Perry.

"This distributorship brings greater value and stability for our members and puts the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and United Utility Supply in a strong position for the future."

The ERMCO facility in Dyersburg has made the move to purchase the assets of the closed facility, and entered into a distribution arrangement with United Utility Supply, who previously distributed approximately 32,000 pole-mount and pad-mount transformers per year.

According to ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert, orders for pole mounts and pad-mount transformers have already been placed with the Dyersburg plant, resulting in more work for facility employees.

"A team will be going to Louisville this week to evaluate the purchase and see what materials can be used and what materials need to be disposed of," stated Reffert.

ERMCO Celebrates Office Expansion

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Special to The State Gazette

ERMCO is very proud to announce the opening of its new office expansion. ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert commented, "The need for more office space has been driven by our consistent growth over the past few years."

Reffert added "ERMCO's business is heavily dependent on the housing market and the industrial/construction markets and both of those markets continue to be far below the booming markets of 2007 and 2008. Over the last five years, our headcount has increased by over 275 employees in a very sluggish economy. I have to give tremendous credit to our employees in sales, production, quality, engineering and the support departments who provide a high-quality product and excellent customer service. I am very proud of the outstanding ERMCO workforce. Our growth and the need for this office expansion is a testament to the pride that each ERMCO employee brings each day to the work place. Our employees strive every day to be the best distribution transformer manufacturer so that ERMCO can continue to serve utilities who want to trust ERMCO with their transformer requirements."

Jerry Ray, ERMCO VP of Human Resources added, "We have done a great deal of hiring over the past few years and we needed to revise the footprint of our entire administration building. We wanted to expand the break-room facilities which results in having to convert some offices adjacent to this area into break room space." Christian Ouimet, ERMCO VP of Sales and Engineering, added, "We are also able to add conference room space to handle the increased amount of customer visits."

R.C. Hensley, ERMCO Engineering Manager and Office Expansion project manager, said, "We talked to a number of contractors and decided to award the construction of the new office addition to Rose Construction Inc. They designed a 6,000 square-foot floor plan that matched the existing building along with a covered portico to make access to the administration building easier in bad weather.

"I was very impressed with how quickly the project got started and even more impressed with the flexibility Rose showed in making sure were pleased with the finished product," said Bill Reffert.

ERMCO Manufacturing Milestone

On November 13, 2014, ERMCO reached a manufacturing milestone. The three-phase plant, located on Sylvan Road, produced its 100,000th three-phase transformer. ERMCO began manufacturing three-phase transformers in 2000 utilizing a patented design developed here in Dyersburg. This has enabled ERMCO to grow into a market leader of three-phase transformer manufacturing in the US. Three-phase transformers are used to provide electrical service to commercial/industrial buildings, apartment buildings and a wide variety of other installations that have large electrical requirements. The landmark unit was manufactured for Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative in Williston, North Dakota to serve the Bakken Shale oil boom in that area of the country. In attendance to celebrate the 100,000th unit from left to right were Matt Brandrup, CEO of RESCO, ERMCO's sales distribution partner; Dale Haugen, CEO of Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative; Bill Reffert, ERMCO President and CEO; Pat McFarland ERMCO Director of Materials; Todd Carlson, ERMCO VP of Quality; Craig DeRouen, ERMCO VP of Engineering; Christian Ouimet, ERMCO VP of Sales; Kent Raffath, ERMCO Sr. VP of Finance; Jerry Ray, ERMCO VP of HR; Jason Stanley, ERMCO Operations Manager; and Roger Stegeman, ERMCO Sr. VP of Operations.