Horry County industry recruiters expect to announce the arrival of a new manufacturer — and 49 jobs — next month.
Officials have not disclosed the name of the company or the nature of its business, but they plan to make a formal announcement in early September.
“This is going to be a company that everybody’s going to be impressed with,” said Fred Richardson, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. (EDC) board. “It’s a manufacturing operation and it’s going to be a good fit.”
The announcement would be the first since EDC President Jim Moore resigned in June. Moore held the position for less than six months. The job hunting agency is still searching for a replacement. Richardson, who has led the agency since Moore stepped down, said activity at the EDC hasn’t slowed since the CEO’s departure.
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“We’re doing pretty OK now,” he said. “We continue to get companies calling us.”
Morgan Dendy, the EDC’s marketing director, said the agency is in discussions with more than 20 companies about moving to the area or expanding their existing operations.
“It’s really an exciting time for us,” she said.
The new manufacturer is similar to other companies that have been contacting the EDC lately, Richardson said. Most major manufacturers look for locations that have an interstate, which the Grand Strand lacks. For many smaller firms, that’s not a problem.
“We’re getting a steady stream of smaller type companies that are looking to move here,” Richardson said. “A company with 49 or 50 jobs, you recruit 10 of those and that’s equal to 500 jobs. … In many ways, we’re more suited for a smaller company that has less transportation issues.”
Moore was the second CEO to head the jobs agency since local officials reorganized the EDC in 2010. His predecessor, Brad Lofton, left the post to take a job in Georgia last summer.
Lofton announced more than 1,500 jobs during his three years running the agency, but about half of those positions have not been filled and hundreds never will be, according to public records.
The first industry expansion Lofton announced was for AvCraft Technical Services, which filed for bankruptcy in March. Another, Ithaca Gun Co., never signed a contract with the EDC and withdrew from the area. Those firms accounted for 270 of the jobs on Lofton’s press releases. While Lofton did have some successes — a Star Tek call center has welcomed more than 340 employees — several firms have been slow to hire or have seen setbacks, including layoffs.
During Moore’s time leading the agency, the EDC announced the arrival of two companies. Star Life Safety, which implements hospital life safety systems, moved from New York to Myrtle Beach with plans to create 36 jobs; and Little Spider Creations, a prop-making business, migrated from Colorado to North Myrtle Beach and aims to hire 35 workers.