Baxter, Hi-Tech expand into SC

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Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Custom injection molder Baxter Enterprises has committed to a $20.7 million investment to extend its production base into South Carolina.

Baxter and sister company Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering are setting up a new operation in Oconee County, S.C., by moving into a new 87,000-square-foot facility in the Oconee Industry and Technology Park.

The new factory will create 87 jobs over the next five years, according to a state news release. South Carolina’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $200,000 grant to Oconee County to assist with costs of property improvements. Job development credits were also approved for the project.

Family-owned Baxter was founded in 1997 in Winchester, Tenn. Hi-Tech Mold’s origins date to 1982. Hi-Tech has expanded several times since then in Rochester Hills, Mich., where it runs four plants and is building a technical center. Hi-Tech will occupy 17,500 square feet of the new Oconee County facility.

“We are excited to join the Oconee County community and look forward to serving our customers in the Carolina region at our new facility,” noted Baxter President and CEO Robert Schulte in a news release.

Baxter logged sales of $56 million last year, according to Plastics News’ North American injection molders survey. The 285-employee Winchester operation runs 28 injection presses, several of which have clamp forces of more than 2,000 tons. Automotive, appliances, aerospace and pallets are key markets. Secondary services include design, assembly, and through Hi-Tech Mold, tool building.

Hi-Tech is ranked fifth in PN’s most recent mold making survey, with sales estimated at $65 million.

The new Oconee industrial park in upstate South Carolina has 303 acres available for construction. Located on South Carolina Highway 11 it is near Interstate Highway 85 with the major cities of Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta, within a two-hour driving radius. Major OEMs nearby include a BMW auto assembly factory in Greenville and a Caterpillar heavy equipment plant in Atlanta. Local assistance programs include fee-in-lieu tax, property tax abatements and worker training assistance.

“Having a technology company of this caliber locate in our community validates the investments we have made in infrastructure, workforce development and education, and proves that these investments are now paying dividends to Oconee County,” stated Oconee County Council Chairman Paul Cain in a news release.