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Jackson News

Posted on: May 12, 2017

Business HighLight of May 2017: Novelty Machine Works, Inc.


In 1952, behind the house of S.L. Robinson in Jackson, what is now known as Novelty Machine Works, Inc., was born. Mr. Robinson, a skillful craftsman with a God given creative mindset, embarked on business venture that has evolved into one of Jackson and Mississippi’s leading machine works businesses. In 1964, after a stint of the business being located on State Street in a horse stable, the operation was moved to its present location of 3120 Highway 80 West. By that time, Raymond Jones, a smart man who had a head for the numbers aspect of what it takes to operate a business, joined Mr. Robinson as 50% owner. Both men are now deceased, with the business, through inheritance and stock sale, being now owned by Johnny Robinson after the death of his two siblings, James Hollingsworth and Alice Faye Walker, who were once part owners. Johnny Robinson’s son, Heath, assists his father in shop operation and his niece, Karla Phillips, daughter of Mrs. Walker and a 35 year employee, handles office operations and is the Chief Financial Officer. Mrs. Phillips is very capably assisted by secretary, Tammy Kittrell, who is also a long tenured employee. Mr. Robinson said that is the main reasons he feels the business, has been successful, long tenured employees, he points out that a couple, of the now 15 employees, have been with them over 40 years and that the business has very little turnover, which has created a true family atmosphere.

Mr. Robinson said the business once employed 30 plus employees, but after the signing of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) 1994 by the U.S. it caused several local factories who were Novelty Machine’s major customers, to move production work to Mexico. This in turn precipitated the need for an adjustment in their primary target customer base to small business and retail. That is the one message Mr. Robinson wants to convey to aspiring business owners, “be persistent, stick with it through hard times and know that sometimes adjustments will have to be made to preserve your business”.
Novelty Machine Works provides a bevy of traditional machine works services, such as automotive and industrial job shop and all type of welding and crankshaft grinding, cylinder head repairing, etc. in addition they go above and beyond the industry norm by providing automobile rim repair service, they also provide mobile welding service, often going to a residence to iron encase an air condition unit or weld a chair or other heavy household item. Throughout the years their motto has been “there isn’t anything we can’t do”. In addition to individuals and businesses the business provides service to governmental entities, one being Hinds County, who they have a longstanding relationship with, with the concentration of service being the detention center logistics. Mr. Robinson said “we pride ourselves in providing top quality multiple services at a reasonable rate to all customers”. The business routinely receives complimentary communication through e-mails and other social media from customers expressing how pleased they are with the service they received.

Novelty Machine Works understands that is vital to provide community support through monetary contribution or volunteerism. It is virtually impossible to contribute through volunteerism so they contribute monetarily. They’ve contributed to charitable organizations, churches, local public schools, and presently they are working through a local radio station to promote the nationally renowned, “Drug Free” program, which focuses on stressing to youth the bad effects of drug use.

Mayor, Tony T. Yarber, along with the entire City of Jackson staff is excited and pleased that Novelty Machine Works, Inc. a most deserving business, has been named the City of Jackson’s Business Highlight for May 2017. The city is most appreciative of the business’ commitment to economic stability in the Highway 80 vicinity, with the employment of local citizens and the consistent quality service rendered these factors bode well for the business being a centerpiece business for any future area revitalization efforts.


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