GREENVILLE - The start of construction on Fabric Line 2 at Cytec Engineered Materials was not just the site of a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, but another example of "solid recruiting and support of Greenville businesses."
It was the second groundbreaking this year in the city’s manufacturing sector, which is rebounding strong since Newell Rubbermaid announced in December they are consolidating operations and will close their doors something this summer, leaving some 500 people out of work.
The $8.6 million expansion at Cytec is part of a five-year tax abatement granted by the City of Greenville and Hunt County, based on $8 million in equipment value and $600,000 in real estate improvements. Work on the 10,000 square foot expansion will be conducted by local contractor Turner Construction and will bring in an additional 10 employees. The company has operated in Greenville for 30 years creating products that serve a diverse range of end markets including aerospace composites, structural adhesives and plastics, among others.
The company’s choice to remain in Greenville would not have been possible without the support of the city, Hunt County and the State of Texas, according to David Snyder, vice president of operations at Cytec. He also credits the strong local workforce, who will play a major role in the company’s expansion.
“I think you’ll see as this project begins to take shape, we will be relying on the expertise of local contractors, other local companies. And as we go to scale up this facility, we will really be counting on the community to provide the workforce; the highly-skilled people that we need to run our operation.”
Snyder adds that while this is a significant expansion and milestone for the company, the increasing demand for composite materials makes the opportunities ahead much more significant.
The investment from Cytec was sought be a number of other cities across the country.
“We want to thank Cytec. Not only congratulate you on the success you’ve had over the past 30 years but also to thank you for choosing Greenville. I know there were many cities you considered. So I really appreciate, and the citizens of Greenville appreciate that you have enough confidence in Greenville to choose us,” Mayor Steve Reid said.
Commercial production for the Cytec expansion is anticipated in 2015.
Meanwhile, officials are anxiously awaiting the near completion of the $26 million expansion at Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems, which broke ground in late January. The additional 105,000 square feet will allow the supplier of oil and gas drilling equipment and production services to add another 100 jobs.
Board of Development President and CEO Greg Sims says the workforce is the number one attraction in retaining and bringing in new business. That coupled with the board’s efforts to maximize opportunities with companies willing to put capital investment back into the marketplace now has paid dividends.
“Since the national economy has been on a downslide, we have pulled out all the stops to make sure that Greenville definitely is tops of their list when they do these company expansions,” Sims said. “They are in competition across their corporation with other plants in the nation. We understand that and want to be very competitive when it comes to that.”
Sims hopes the future calls for more expansions at existing plants, new companies for Greenville and new jobs. While officials would prefer to host a groundbreaking ceremony every month, conducting two within the first half of 2012 is without a doubt an exciting prospect for development members, growing businesses and unemployed citizens in Northeast Texas.