Job Growth Follows Films Manufacturer to Columbus County

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Patience plus just the right, ready-to-go building were potent factors in the arrival recently of MaXPro, Inc., to Columbus County’s Southeast Regional Industrial Park. The company, a maker of specialty window films for construction and automotive markets, began up-fitting a 45,500-sq.-ft. spec building in September, according to Gary Lanier, director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission. The company, which is investing $5 million in the facility, plans to ramp up a 26-person workforce there during the coming three years. “The annual payroll once everyone is in place will be nearly $1.2 million,” Lanier says.

The building will house all MaXPro production. Among the company’s products are protective and reflective films used in coating energy-efficient residential and office towers and high-security vehicles and buildings. MaXPro had previously relied on contract suppliers. Jeff Etheridge, chairman of the Columbus County Committee of 100, which owns the park, believes the demand for the company’s product combined with its experienced executive leadership make for a promising new corporate citizen in Columbus County. “The individuals who’ve started this company have extensive business knowledge and background and have been quite successful before in similar ventures,” Etheridge says.

North Carolina’s Southeast had made initial contact with the company during the summer of 2011. “The owner found us on the Web,” recalls Joe Melvin, NCSE’s director of business development. When a Richmond County building initially considered by the company was taken off the market, the search appeared to go dormant. The project re-surfaced earlier this year when talks began to center around the Columbus County property. “NCSE is one of our main sources of leads,” says Gary Lanier. “This has been one of those leads sent our way that really panned out for us.”