$20 million and 40 new jobs

Twenty years after it first began operations in Union County Haemonetics is investing approximately $20 million to expand its facility on Medical Sciences Drive in the City of Union to quadruple production and create 40 new jobs.

During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon, Union County Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution and first reading of an ordinance relating to a company initially identified as “Project Veruca Salt.”

The resolution authorizes the county to enter into a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement with the company identified as Project Veruca Salt. It states that the county is recruiting an investment by Project Veruca Salt “for the expansion a its facility to be used for the manufacturing of medical devices in the county.” To do this, the county must “take certain actions and provide certain incentives including entering into a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement with the company.”

It further states that the company expects to create 40 new, full time jobs in connection with the project on or before Dec. 31, 2021. It also states that the company has requested that the project be included in a multi-county industrial/park created by Union County in collaboration with Spartanburg County.

After approving the resolution, council also approved first reading of an ordinance implementing the agreement between the county and the company.

Following the approval of the resolution and first reading of the ordinance, Supervisor Frank Hart announced that Project Veruca Salt is Haemonetics and the project covered in the agreement between the county and the company is the expansion of the company’s facility at 155 Medical Sciences Drive in the City of Union. Hart said Haemonetics plans to invest approximately $20 million in the expansion of the facility and create 40 new jobs. He congratulated Haemonetics on its expansion and pointed out that it is a sign of what a great place Union County is to do business.

“Haemonetics continues to be a great corporate partner for Union County and we are very excited about their additional investment in our community,” Hart said. “We view this expansion as further confirmation that Union County continues to be a great place to do business in South Carolina. We are appreciative and proud to support their investment and job creation efforts now and in the future.”

Also present for council’s vote was Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker who also thanked Hamonetics for its expansion and also spoke about what it says about Union County.

“When an existing company decides to expand the footprint of its current location, it demonstrates that they are comfortable and confident doing business in your community,” Powell-Baker said. “We are grateful to Haemonetics for this expansion and creation of new jobs. We will continue to support their efforts now and in the future.”

Union County Development Board Chairman Joe Nichols called Haemonetics “a staple in Union County with more than 20 years at its current location. It has been my pleasure working with the Haemonetics management team, Department of Commerce, and our local officials on this investment of approximately 20 million dollars for our community and 40 career opportunities for our citizens. Thank you, Haemonetics, for your continued commitment and support of Union County.”

Haemonetics Plant Manager Kevin Mason and Controller Kelly Lawson were present for council’s vote and Mason discussed the company’s plans and the reason for its expansion.

“To support the rapid growth within the market we are expanding our production capabilities and investing in state-of-the-art pharmaceutical equipment,” Mason said. “Our annual volume will go from 20 million units a year to roughly 80 million.”

Mason said that the expansion process is already under way and plans are for the majority of the work to be completed by November 2016. He added that, just as the expansion process is under way, the hiring process to fill the 40 new jobs that will be created is also under way.

“We are currently hiring and we have a dire need for technicians with the advanced background in automation and controls,” Mason said.

In a press release announcing and celebrating the expansion, the SC Department of Commerce described Haemonetics as “the global leader in blood management solutions. … Established in 1971 and headquartered in Braintree, Mass., Haemonetics operates facilities on four continents across the globe, employing almost 4,000 workers worldwide. The company has a comprehensive portfolio of devices, information management and consulting services, serving each facet of the blood supply chain – from plasma and blood collectors to hospitals.”

The SCDOC states that “Haemonetics recently celebrated 20 years at its current Union County site” and “will be expanding the existing facility by 3,000 square-feet, as well as making significant upgrades to plant equipment and infrastructure.”

It further states that “products manufactured at the Union County site are required for plasmapheresis, during which the raw material in life saving plasma therapies is collected. Therapies treat a variety of disease states including immune deficiencies, hemophilia, and other blood disorders.”

The press releases states that the “Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $400,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Union County to assist with the cost of real property improvements. The council has also approved job development credits related to the project.”

Haemonetics Corporation CEO Ron Gelbman is quoted in the press release as saying “the South Carolina community has been an integral partner in our manufacturing operations for the last 20 years, and our decision to further invest in the Union facility reflects upon the diverse pool of talent, partners and resources that South Carolina has to offer. I look forward to continuing our strategy of continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence in Union, helping to further support our global product lines.”

Gov. Nikki Haley said that “Haemonetics has been doing business in South Carolina for 20 years, and it’s exciting to see this great company make the decision to expand here. This nearly $20 million investment, and the 40 new jobs it will bring to Union County, is a testament to Haemonetics’ commitment to South Carolina, and we look forward to watching its continued success here for many years to come.”

State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said that “South Carolina continues to stand out as a leader in the manufacturing renaissance, and today’s announcement by Haemonetics is a testament to that. From planes and cars to tires and medical devices, the people of this state have shown that they produce first-class products, attracting investment from both existing and new industry alike.”

Five Fast Facts

• Haemonetics Corporation is expanding its Union County operations.

• Nearly $20 million investment creating 40 new jobs.

• Established in 1971, Haemonetics Corporation is headquartered in Braintree, Mass.

• The company will be expanding the existing facility by 3,000 square-feet, as well as making significant upgrades to plant equipment and infrastructure. * Those interested in joining the Haemonetics team should visit the company’s careers page online.

About Haemonetics

Haemonetics (NYSE: HAE) is a global healthcare company dedicated to providing innovative blood management solutions for our customers. Together, our devices and consumables, information technology platforms, and consulting services deliver a suite of business solutions to help our customers improve patient care and reduce the cost of healthcare for blood collectors, hospitals, and patients around the world. Our technologies address important medical markets: blood and plasma component collection, the surgical suite, and hospital transfusion services.

By Charles Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Daily Times