New growth is coming to Clarendon County when the Georgia-Pacific Clarendon OSB facility expands. Using funds from a $4.5 million investment, the company will expand their facility to include a new 30,000 square foot warehouse. Upgraded equipment will be installed, which will include a state-of-the-art laminating line.
As Georgia-Pacific grows its customer base, the need arose to support a 24/7 run schedule and accommodate future automatic guided vehicles. With over $6 million in capital investments at Clarendon OSB in the last year, the plant can now enter an automated digital operating platform while opening the door for more investments in technology.
"Adding to our digital platform raises the technical knowledge bar for current and future employees. Raising the bar also puts us on a similar footing with other high-tech manufacturers in our region - so we can successfully compete for the same qualified workforce," said Tobey Elgin, Clarendon OSB plant manager.
Georgia-Pacific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, has seven manufacturing facilities in South Carolina directly employing approximately 1,400 people. These jobs, combined with those created by other Koch companies in the state, employ more than 2,000 people directly and support nearly 7,500 South Carolina jobs overall with total compensation of $384 million annually.
“Although no jobs are specifically tied to this expansion, we are hopeful this will lead to new jobs in the future,” said George Kosinski, the Executive Director for Clarendon County Economic Development. “However, the new automation will allow them to compete with other like companies for a more skilled and advanced workforce. We are extremely excited for this continued growth.”
The existing operation will grow to over 750,000 square feet with the expansion, and Kosinski expects the project to go out through a competitive bid process, giving Clarendon County contractors the opportunity to win the bids.
"It is with much pride that we welcome this existing industry expansion in Clarendon County by Georgia-Pacific. GP has been providing high paying jobs for Clarendon and surrounding counties for many years and for that we thank them," said Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart.
Georgia-Pacific has spent $118 million in capital investment for growth in South Carolina since 2012, including expanding into Clarendon County in 2013. Currently they employ approximately 150 people at Clarendon OSB.
“GP has been a staple in our community for many, many years. This expansion solidifies our commitment to them and many other industries by creating an environment where business can grow and prosper,” said Clarendon County Development Board Chairman John Tindal.
“It’s always exciting to see companies flourishing in the community, but even more so when we see the fruits of their labor yield expansions and continued investments. Georgia-Pacific has a strong presence in Clarendon County, and throughout the Central SC region, which has had a great impact on the lives of workers and the business community alike. We congratulate both our partner, Clarendon County, and Georgia-Pacific on this exciting announcement,” said Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan.
Georgia-Pacific OSB products include Blue Ribbon ® rated sheathing and sub-floor, Thermostat ® OSB radiant barrier sheathing and DryGuard ® enhanced OSB sub-floor, plus larger panels used in specialty applications.