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Urbana company lands Canadian lighting deal

Business has nearly 100 local employees who make tower lighting.

An Urbana company recently reached a multi-million dollar agreement with a telecommunications company to provide obstruction lighting on the telecommunication company’s towers throughout Canada.

The agreement, which has been in the works for two years, will provide job security for local employees and creates the possibility or more work in the future, said Jim Sullivan, vice president of sales for Hughey and Phillips. The company has slightly fewer than 100 employees and produces obstruction lighting, often used to alert aircraft of tall objects such as cell phone towers, wind turbines and other objects.

“It definitely stabilizes the jobs here and creates the possibility of adding jobs as well as our order book goes up,” Sullivan said.

Although he described it as a multi-million dollar agreement, Sullivan declined to discuss the total value of the deal. However, he called the agreement as one of the largest awarded in the industry in several years. Sullivan said it’s too early to determine how many new jobs the agreement could create.

“The telecommunications company asked that we not name them specifically,” Sullivan said.

The LED lights produced by Hughey and Phillips are a new technology that, among other benefits, can be repaired more easily and provide savings to the tower’s owner.

“With our system you can service just the LED boards or pinpoint what’s wrong with it and fix it accordingly, without replacing the entire light fixture,” Sullivan said.

Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for Champaign County, said she was not aware of the new contract. But she said the company has steadily grown in recent years.

“Of course we are excited to hear of the success of any of our businesses,” Bailey said. “We are truly blessed to have the economic strength in our community.”

The telecommunications firm plans to use the lights as it builds new towers and retrofits its existing structures.

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