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Grand opening signals intermodal growth for Memphis area

hardyintermodal-600Carolyn Hardy, CEO of Chism Hardy Investments, has a track record of success when it comes to aligning with business opportunities that yield dividends for the Memphis area. On Monday (Aug. 19), Hardy helped unveil a venture that she puts in that category.

Mayor AC Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mark Luttrell Jr. participated in the grand opening of the Marine Repair Services and Container Maintenance Corporation (MRS-CMC) new multi-million dollar maintenance shop and intermodal yard at 4530 Clarke Road in Memphis Tennessee. The facility has a 10,800 square foot maintenance shop on 30 acres for intermodal container and truck storage on a bonded yard.

Additionally, the facility is one mile from the BNSF Memphis Intermodal facility.

The new depot supports MRS-CMC'S growth and continuing long-term investment in Shelby County and the greater Memphis area.

"Memphis leadership is leveraging its combination of air, rail, land and water shipping to continue explosive intermodal growth," said Vince Marino, CEO, Marino Group.

"Our new yard and repair shop positions us to be competitive in one of the fastest growing logistics hubs in the US. We will continue our focus on customer service through expansion with skilled labor and training. This new depot begins a very exciting chapter for our customers and team."

Chism Hardy Investments of Memphis designed and built the new facility. Browning Contractors led the development with the support of Ledford Engineering, Eagle Construction, South Memphis Fence, MJ Contracting and others.

"Memphis has a unique opportunity to leverage recent investments by the 5 Class I railroads by providing services outside the Class I's core business strategy," said Hardy. "Additionally, growth translates into job creation and living wages; resulting in a positive impact on the Memphis economy."

The expansion will add 84 net new jobs in the next three years. The job creation is supported by a strategic partnership between Southwest Tennessee Community College, Workforce Investment Network, Chism Hardy Investments and Container Maintenance. The new hires will receive technical training to provide basic mechanics skills through Southwest IRT training program.

John Churchill, Director of Southwest, said job success validates the feedback from the manufacturing community relative to the effectiveness of the program's ability to identify candidates with the necessary requisite skills for success.

The Southwest IRT program was the brainchild of Hardy, Southwest Community College and others to support job growth at Blues City Brewery in 2011. Southwest's IRT program has trained over 300 unemployed and underemployed Memphians in the past 18 months.

The 30-acre site makes it the largest site for MRS-CMC. It will be used for repair, maintenance, storage and redistribution of intermodal equipment.

"We have called Memphis home for seven years and are excited about outgrowing our 10 acre site," said Philip Christian, general manager of Container Maintenance.

The new MRS-CMC depot is the first of many key investments that Chism Hardy Investments and MRS-CMC plan to make in the Memphis community to strengthen their presence with the Intermodal expansion.

Located in Daniel Island, S.Car., MRS-CMC has eight locations throughout the US.

(For more information visit www.mrs-cmc.com.)

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