WALKER COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Soon the old Bluebird Bus Manufacturing Plant will bustle with new employees. Just two years ago, it shut its doors for good, taking 350 jobs with it.
It wasn't long after that when Randy Phillips, co-founder of the Phillips Bros. Machine Company, began discussing a land deal to buy the old Bluebird property. That finally happened on May, 31.
"It's a dream of a lifetime. All my guys that work for me, I couldn't be here without them," says Phillips.
Sixty people work for Phillips now. That number will go up to 100 when it consolidates into its new facility and county officials have even higher hopes for the near future.
"They're very modest but I expect a lot more jobs and they know they can bring in 40 new people, but I expect a hundred within a year," says Commissioner Bebe Heiskell.
"If the assembly lines are fully activated like they were then, there could be a couple more hundred jobs eventually," Phillips says.
The company makes heavy equipment parts. The new jobs will include machinists, welders and computer operators. Starting pay will be between $10 and $12 but Phillips says there's always room to grow within the business.
"Some of my guys make over $25," Phillips explains.
The company will move into its new plant at the end of July. It's a good starting point, but Phillips says the sky is the limit.
"We're going to see just how far we can take it," he says.
Phillips is working with the Walker County Development Authority to receive tax abatements. The company is expected to move by July 31, and will begin taking applications in August.