Jet recycler to add 100 jobs

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A jet recycler plans to hire 100 employees for its new Tupelo location, the company announced Saturday.
Memphis-based Universal Asset Management started its Mississippi journey with gusto, flying in a Boeing 747 before officially announcing it is moving its disassembly and warehousing operations from Arkansas to Tupelo.
The 100 jobs will be added during the next three years. The average salary is $45,000.
Hiring starts Monday, said Keri Wright, chief operating officer of UAM.
Wright said people can apply by emailing a resume to
Applicants should include a snippet about who they are in the body of the email. Certified airframe and powerplant mechanics are desired.
Wright also said she is looking for applicants with quality control experience.
UAM will start disassembling and recycling the 747 on Monday. Ninety percent of the plane will be recycled, Wright said.
The plane’s avionics, engines and auxiliary power system already have been sold, said David Rumbarger, president and CEO of the Community Development Foundation.
The aluminum will be recycled into items such as soda cans. Even the carpet will be reused as padding in UAM’s shipments, Wright said.
“We are focused on having a green, environmentally friendly business,” Wright said. “We take pride in the fact that we recycle.”
Japanese Airlines previously used the plane for passenger flights.
Pilots flew it from Japan starting Friday, with a stop in Anchorage, and touched down around 5 p.m. Saturday in front of an applauding crowd in Tupelo.
Steve Manley, CEO of the recycler, was in the crowd.
“We’re not used to this attention,” he said. “Arkansas did a great job for us, but we realized that we couldn’t grow there. No one was stepping up to support us. We had to make a business decision. We looked at other sites in Mississippi and Tupelo won hands down.”
The company’s disassembly operations will be housed at the Tupelo Regional Airport. It’s inventory management operations and warehousing will be in a 450,000-square-foot facility in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South.
“We are more than happy to be in a location – finally – that wants us and wants us to grow,” Manley said.

Click video to hear audio