Greenville business on the grow

Published 6:38 pm Monday, August 17, 2009

A map of the U.S. in their offices tells the story. It is covered with hundreds and hundreds of colored pins marking locations of correctional facilities across the country – facilities using equipment manufactured by Montgomery Technology, Inc., better known as MTI.

The company designs and manufactures control systems – the “central nervous system” of the facility – for jails and prisons stretching from the East Coast to the West Coast.

“A lot of people in town would be amazed to know how busy a little business in Greenville is,” said owner Tim Skipper with a smile.

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So busy, in fact, the company is planning to move to a new location by the end of 2009.

They’ve outgrown their century-old building, a former cotton warehouse located on E. Commerce St., and need room to grow.

“We’ve got 10,000 square feet here and every inch is packed with equipment and people . . . we will have 18,000 square feet with room and plans for expansion at the new location,” Skipper said. The new building will be located on County Road 61 and Highway 31, adjacent to the Butler County Industrial Development Park.

Skipper said they hope to move in by the end of 2009.

In spite of the recession, MTI’s business has remained consistent, he said.

“I would like to be able to say it is due to our forethought and ingenuity, but truthfully, it is just the Lord looking out for us. We have 39 employees and we haven’t had to lay off anyone,” Skipper said. “Once the economy does turn around, we do plan to add a few more workers.”

One of the innovations that has allowed MTI to do well in a time when other similar businesses are truly feeling the crunch, said Skipper, is its new video visitation system, which can be seen in Butler County’s correctional facility.

“I’m proud to say my boys (Patrick and Nathan) are bringing us products that are their inventions, designed and put together by them. They’ve gone from science fair projects at Fort Dale Academy to real-life projects on the job here. And that has been a neat thing to watch,” Skipper said.

The walls of MTI feature framed copies of articles spotlighting the 23-year-old Greenville-based business.

“We are considered one of the leaders in the industry, and that is pretty nice to know,” Skipper said. “Hopefully, that is going to continue to be true.”