Boatright speaks at Chamber luncheon

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shane Boatright, president and CEO of Boatright Companies, gave those in attendance at Tuesday’s Chilton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon an update on a local crosstie manufacturing plant.

“We’re almost to the end,” Boatright said about the process of getting the plant up and running.

Once at full production, the plant will employ 75-100 people, Boatright said.

The 400,000-square-feet facility is located on 100 acres at the Chilton County Industrial Park.

Shane Boatright (left), shown with Chilton County Chamber of Commerce President Peggy Hall, was the guest speaker at Tuesday's chamber luncheon.

Boatright said he and his company place importance on supporting the communities where they are located. He said local labor has been used as much as possible during the construction of the plant and that something that has stood out about Chilton County residents is their pride for their birthplace.

“We are honored as a corporation to be a part of Chilton County,” Boatright said. “These are some of the finest people I’ve ever met.”

Boatright started his company in 1989, the same year he graduated from the University of Alabama.

“I don’t think my story is any different than anybody else who wanted to be successful,” he said about the operation’s humble beginnings with one spray truck as Boatright Vegetation Management LLC. “I was one man and a truck long before there was ‘Two Men and a Truck.'”

Boatright said his formula for growing the operation included re-investing in the company.

The future of the rail industry likely lies in intermodal facilities, Boatright said, where trains can transport freight to a central location and then trucks can make the remainder of the trip. Such arrangements can mean less time on the road for trucks, saving infrastructure and making highways safer for motorists.

Boatright said one of his more pressing concerns about the company is “who is going to do the work?” Jobs at Boatright are not computer-oriented, he said, and the average Boatright customer is 57 years old, factors that mean today’s graduates aren’t always ideally suited for the work.

“Every day you get up, you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure that customer continues to choose you,” Boatright said.