A Pennsylvania company that makes aerospace products is moving its corporate headquarters to the Myrtle Beach area, economic development officials announced last week.
Elm Street Associates is relocating its manufacturing, research, and development operations to the Grand Strand, according to a news release from the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. (MBREDC).
"Horry County is proud to welcome a new, high-tech company locating to the Grand Strand area,” Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus was quoted in the statement.
The deal, which doesn’t include any local incentives, will bring 51 new jobs to the area over a 24-month period after the manufacturing facility is completed in 2014, according to Brad Lofton, president of the MBREDC. The positions have an average hourly wage of $15.98.
Lofton said the MBREDC courted the company for more than a year, helping the firm's leaders search for real estate.
Elm Street Associates will spend $3 million building a 45,000ft2 facility, which should be completed next year. The company develops and manufactures aerospace products for national aviation clients as well as synthetic plywood, insulated concrete form (ICF) panels and high insulation value roofing tiles.
Although Elm Street Associates declined to receive any local or state grants, Lofton says the company can apply for state tax credits for job creation.
“Horry County is right in the middle of the robust Southeast U.S. aerospace corridor with Honda in Greensboro, N.C., Boeing in North Charleston, S.C., Gulfstream in Savannah, Ga., and Airbus in Mobile, Ala.,” Lofton notes. “Due to the community’s location advantage and aerospace culture, we hope to continue to locate targeted industry suppliers.”
Chris Verta, CEO of Elm Street, says his company looked at sites in five states before choosing the Myrtle Beach, S.C. region. “This wasn’t so much a business decision. This was a people decision.”
The finished aerospace product is a plant-based, lightweight material that’s stronger than aluminum, according to Verta. Because the material and manufacturing process is new, the employees will be trained at Elm Street’s new plant.
“This is a new technology with materials that have never been made,” Verta says.
The process has been perfected at Pennsylvania Wax, a supplier of industrial investment casting wax products, which Verta also heads.