Canadian manufacturer relocating to Pickens County

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Jerry Pawluk, president of Safeplast North America, announcing a new factory on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the offices of Alliance Pickens.

Pickens County announced more jobs at its booming industrial park in Liberty, where two factories have just opened and two other firms are currently expanding.

The latest tenant to claim a spot at the Pickens County Commerce Park along U.S. 123 is Safeplast North America, a small manufacturer that is relocating from Canada.

Safeplast makes thick plastic spirals that resemble giant curly fries and are wrapped around hydraulic hoses to protect them.

Its decade-old factory in southwestern Ontario can’t make enough product to meet current demand, so the company decided to build a new plant in South Carolina, where some of its suppliers and customers are located, said President Jerry Pawluk.

He said Safeplast would spend $4.3 million constructing a 30,000-square-foot factory and installing equipment. The new plant will employ about 30 people. It will be built on a just-graded parcel donated by Pickens County.

Pawluk said Safeplast North America is a joint venture between his family and a Finnish company called SNT-Group. So far, competitors have not been able to replicate its hydraulic hose protectors, he said.

Two other companies — JR Automation Technologies and era-contact USA — have recently opened new plants in the Pickens County Commerce Park. Two more companies — Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co. and Keymark — are expanding their operations in the park.

The Safeplast announcement was made Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the office of Alliance Pickens, the county’s economic development organization, located at the industrial park.

Members of Pickens County Council marked the occasion by giving final approval for a property tax break for Safeplast.

Among the VIPs on hand for the announcement were state Sen. Rex Rice of Easley, state Rep. Gary Clary of Clemson, and Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County Technical College.

Ray Farley, Pickens County’s economic development director, attributed the county’s recent spate of job announcements to skilled labor being produced by its school system, especially the technical high school, Pickens County Career and Technology Center.

Farley also said the county’s industrial recruiting has benefited from ready-to-go sites in the industrial park.

Ray Farley, economic development director for Pickens County
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