JAMES MARINE, INC. BEGAN BACK IN 1986 as a small marine service company. Ronnie James had worked for more than 15 years for his father-in-law, the late Paul Walker, and used the experience with the Walker companies to fuel the growth of what now has become a significant employer in the Paducah/McCracken County region, with more than 800 employees.
“Much of the growth of our company can be attributed to acquisitions of other local firms. However, our growth in the last few years has been a result of our continued commitment to reinvestment in our assets and facilities. Ours is a capital-intensive business, requiring major marine equipment to handle the workload. But it is our people who make our company what it is, and it will be our people—welders, fitters, laborers, deckhands, engineers, pilots—that will define our future growth and success,” Jeff James, the company’s Executive Vice President / COO, believes.
The company currently has a large rank of young, up-and-coming management staff who are working side-by-side with James Marine veteran managers. “We intend to vigorously pursue this philosophy to ensure our customers that the experience and know-how that has defined our company in the past will serve them well in the decades to come. We like to say we are in a constant state of knowledge transfer,” he adds.
The market in the marine industry is now enjoying one of the best periods of growth and progress in its history. That has helped fuel the growth of James Marine’s customer base and that, in turn, has fueled the company’s overall growth. “With company headquarters for Ingram, Marquette and Crounse Corporation here and TECO just across the river, the rich river heritage that has always been a part of Paducah has only grown stronger and richer. Paducah is well known today as the hub of the inland marine industry. We cannot think of another region in America that is better suited for James Marine.”