up to Air Force One, take a look at the top riser on the staircase
and you’ll see “Phoenix.”
Presidents G. W. Bush, Obama and Trump have all relied on
Phoenix products, as have many other world leaders. Most
of the world’s major airlines also use stairs and other service
trucks fabricated in Fort Pierce, according to co-owner Bill
The company will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Fort
Pierce next year, Wilcox noted.
In addition to stairs, Phoenix Metals builds a variety of
aircraft service vehicles used on the tarmac — from lavatory
trucks to service and potable water trucks, used to quickly
service aircraft during turnarounds.
Phoenix employs 47 skilled craftspeople, and the company
recently expanded to larger facilities at Airport Industrial Park,
north of Fort Pierce.
Wilcox is vice president of the Treasure Coast Manufacturers
Association and a strong advocate of apprenticeships and
on-the-job training to cultivate a stream of younger, skilled
technicians his company needs.
Phoenix sponsors apprenticeship and boot camp programs
aimed at high school students and graduates who enjoy working
with their hands. Wilcox oversees a lot of high school job
shadowing activities and organizes frequent tours of the facility
“THE NORTHEAST IS NOT PARTICULARLY
MANUFACTURER-FRIENDLY, AND THE
TREASURE COAST IS PRETTY GOOD AT
DOING THINGS RIGHT, SO FLORIDA IS MUCH
— Tim Girard, Owner Girard Equipment
for members of the Boys & Girls Club.
Phoenix employs machine operators, welders and final
assembly mechanics well-versed in hydraulics and electrical
systems. Wilcox noted that his employees have been working
overtime every week for the past four years and there’s no sign
of any let-up in sight. >>
USED WITH PERMISSION/REUTERS
Three recent U.S. chief executives, including President Donald Trump, have
used service stairs fabricated by Phoenix Metals to exit Air Force One.
PHOENIX METAL PRODUCTS
Equipment receives final preparation in the final assembly operations building at Phoenix Metal Products prior to shipping to Southwest and other airlines.