(CNN) – Steel wire uncoils from spools, is stretched into thin strands, then is welded into giant sheets of metal mesh.
Jim Knott’s company Riverdale Mills in Northbridge, makes mesh for 90% of the lobster traps in North America, but also for bridge railings, chicken feeders, and security fences. He said, “Typically, what they’ve done in the past is these are 20 feet tall and 5 feet in the ground so that you can’t tunnel under.”
80 years ago, the company made a fencing for a 23 mile stretch of the Mexican border. Now, it’s hoping to be part of President Donald Trump’s plan to seal off the rest of the nearly 2,000 miles, especially if the administration insists on buying American.
“There are other people who compete with similar product but they’re Belgium-based company, and we have Chinese competitors, of course, everybody has Chinese competitors,” said Knott.
The company said because of the gauging of the wires, these fences are nearly impossible to climb, and military testing shows cutting through with power tools takes at least 40 minutes.
Knott said it’s too early to say how much such a contract might be worth, but he says the factory would most certainly have to add to its 185 person workforce; “It’s work that pays a good wage and would be good for the country.”
If the president gets his way, it’s work that will begin sometime this year. Trump also wants to hire an additional five-thousand workers for the customs and border patrol agency.