Howard Industries, one of Mississippi’s top 100 companies, is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s and world’s leading companies. Based in Laurel, the innovative powerhouse has grown from a manufacturer of single phase poles with 100 employees to a billion-dollar, multi-product company with more than 1,000 employees.
The company was started in 1968 by Billy W. Howard Sr., who left a promising career at General Electric, and Linda Howard. “I had a burning desire to start my own business in Laurel and develop it into a diversified manufacturing company,” said Billy Howard, a native of Mississippi.
He credits the growth of Howard Industries in part to emerging technology, but adds, “Recognizing various windows of opportunity as they occur is very important.
“Some of these are the result of discontinuities in technology, but also due to changes in distribution channels, new government regulations, and the development of the internet.”
From a manufacturer of single phase poles, the company now has four divisions and Howard Transportation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Howard Industries, Inc. Technology needs are available for homes, businesses, higher education, health care and local, state and federal government.
“Global markets are a vital part of the long term growth of Howard Industries,” company president Linda Howard said.
Howard Industries’ SVR-1 single-phase step voltage regulators designed to automatically regulate distribution line voltages in a range of plus or minus 10 percent in 32 steps.
“Today we are active to one degree or another in 35 countries.”
Looking to the future, Billy Howard Sr. said, “Howard Industries sees no end to future growth. Our vision is to become a member of the Fortune 500 largest corporations.”
Howard Transportation operates as a full-load, long-haul, flat-bed common carrier truck line and brokerage operation, transporting commodities and industrial goods throughout the continental United States.
Howard Industries’ four divisions include distribution and power products; technology solutions — more than 190,000; medical technology products; and lighting products and transportations services.
With Billy Howard Sr.’s background as an engineer, sales and support services are a focus, working with engineers and architects to aid in product knowledge and specification design including roadway lighting, park lighting, poles, lowering devices, cameras, switches and fiber with industry-leading manufacturing partners.
The Utility Products Division manufactures electrical transmission and distribution equipment used by utilities and commercial and industrial companies worldwide. These products include distribution transformers, power transformers, voltage regulators, switching/sectionalizing cabinets, junction boxes and transformer components.
The Medical Technology Division provides technology needs, upgrades and support for health care professionals. Their specially-designed carts are made with the health care setting clearly in mind and with a range of features to ease the work loads of those professionals.