Southtech Plastics Inc. plans to consolidate its operations in 2009 in a new facility that will offer three times the space it now occupies.
The company has been operating out of three adjacent facilities in New Bern, N.C., but recently was named as the first tenant of an industrial park about 30 miles away, in Chocowinity, N.C.
The plan is for a 62,500-square-foot facility to be built on 10 acres, according to Chris Toler, Southtech sales and marketing manager. The company now employs 75, but the move is expected to create 25 jobs during the next three years.
``We're hoping for the move to be completed by the summer of 2009,'' Toler said.
He said that the company's past president, Bill Cohn, will direct the $4 million project, and that the company is working on plans to get it under way by the end of this year.
Southtech has brought in a new president and chief executive officer, Bill Grove, as it plans for future growth. Grove has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing management. His posts include chief financial officer for RTT Automotive Group in Laredo, Texas; and president and CEO of Resource Control Group of Euless, Texas.
Cohn remains on the Southtech board and as a major stockholder. He said the firm had brought in Grove as a consultant and liked his ideas, and now he's in a position to implement strategies for growth.
Southtech is a custom plastic decorating company with a motto of ``Decorating the world ... one sheet at a time.'' It extrudes its own plastic sheet and does laminating as well, for marine, automotive, recreational vehicle, and point-of-purchase display markets. The firm is ISO 9001:2000 certified.
The extrusion, laminating and warehousing departments are currently in different buildings totaling about 20,000 square feet of space. Toler said the move will consolidate all phases in one building and provide a big advantage for material flow.
The search for space took Southtech to various sites in the area, but Beaufort County was aggressive in addressing its needs, Cohn said. The firm was approved for a $1 million grant and was able to get the available financing for the project.
Southtech has been in business since 1989, when it started out a decorative sheet laminator.