Saturday, 09 February 2019 17:47

Advanced Machine Services celebrates move with ribbon cutting

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Neil McCormick, from Advanced Machine Services in Rockingham, does some fabricating work Friday during the shop's ribbon cutting ceremony. Neil McCormick, from Advanced Machine Services in Rockingham, does some fabricating work Friday during the shop's ribbon cutting ceremony. Matt Harrelson - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Mayor Steve Morris said during the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce's ribbon cutting for Advanced Machine Services on Friday that the city received some ridicule when leaders decided to buy land towards the Cordova area to begin an industrial park.

However, he said they knew that the topography was better than it looked on paper, and 10 years later, AMS is one of the newer businesses there reaping the benefits.

Owner Jeremy Fesperman cut the red ribbon on the unseasonably warm February day while other city and county officials, Chamber employees and other community members watched on. Even without any social media presence, the manufacturing business is well known for its welding and fabricating work not only to larger industrial companies but to those in Richmond County, as well.

Chamber Chairman Neil Robinette said that it's always great to have local businesses and entrepreneurs grow and do great things in the community, and he joked that Jeremy Fesperman's daughter Kayla — who is director of marketing for the Chamber — must've found this sell to be really tough.

Richmond County Commissioner John Garner also spoke to those in attendance and talked about how underserved Richmond County is when it comes to services such as those provided by Advanced Machine Services.

"We've been active over the last 15 to 20 years trying to develop Richmond County and bring in more large, specialized industries, businesses and things of this nature," Garner said. "Over the years, TV shops are gone, computer stores are gone, but there's still a need for specialty work and tools where things have to be repaired. Sometimes, you just can't order this stuff. If you did, it would take six to nine months to get it from overseas or wherever it's manufactured. That's the reason we need this kind of business."

Fesperman said Friday that this is actually the third location in Richmond County for his welding shop, with the current one being their home for the last year on Industrial Park Drive. The building itself is made up of three separate garages and altogether covers 8,400 square feet.

Chamber President Emily Tucker talked about the big need for welders in the Sandhills area, and Fesperman said that the infrastructure of the manufacturing starts in his shop.

"Manufacturers aren't going to move into a town where they can't get parts fixed. I get called in in the middle of the night quite regularly in order to get that done. So, there's kind of been that need for it," he said. "There's been welding shops for years, and there's been machine shops for years, but we've never had a shop that combined the two; that could do both."

The Chamber's motto is to connect, promote and grow, and Tucker said that's exactly what they're here to do for Advanced Machine Services and other businesses in the area.

"Ribbon cuttings are always a great indication of growth, a great opportunity to celebrate new things in the community whether they're new openings or moves," she said. "It's a great location. Driving up the street here, it's the first thing I saw; the big sign out front. It's a super location for it."

Fesperman finished up talking about his growing business by saying it's been fun and "a ride for sure."

"The county's been up and down with the economy, but we've been doing this for 13 years," he added. "We should've joined (the Chamber) sooner, but we want our team to be a part of y'all's team for a long while."