Duracell, other firms hiring

The employment picture in Lancaster County may be looking brighter, as several local companies have plans to create hundreds of new jobs over the next year.

The county has been dogged for many months by a double-digit jobless rate that has consistently ranked the county in the top 10 for unemployment in South Carolina. In November, the county’s jobless rate increased to 15.0 percent, up from 14.2 percent in October, according to figures released Friday from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

But within the next year, Procter & Gamble Duracell, Nutramax, SOI Corp. and Metso Power all have plans to increase their workforces, said Keith Tunnell, president of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp.

Duracell on S.C. 9 Bypass in Lancaster announced its plan last week to create 52 new plant technician jobs here. The company is accepting applications through Dec. 31.

Job-seekers can apply online at www.pg.com by going to “Find and Apply for Jobs” and entering the job number mfg00002490.

Tunnell said employees at the local OneStop job center at 705 N. White St., Lancaster, can help people fill out their online applications.

“The OneStop is working with them to try and identify locals registered there that have the

skills they need for these positions,” Tunnell said. “But just having your resume at the OneStop will not help you get one of the Duracell jobs. People need to go online.”

The creation of new jobs at Duracell is a good sign for the local economy, Tunnell said.

“They’ve been pretty level on employees during the recession, so for them to add 52 jobs is welcome news,” he said.

Tunnell said the jobs are also well-suited for former employees of ZF Lemforder, an automotive suspension company that closed its Lancaster plant over the last year and moved to Georgia. Many of those employees went through additional training with that company and Tunnell hopes to match their resumes with the job openings.

Other new jobs

Three other companies are also on the hunt for new employees.

Strategic Outsourcing Inc., a professional employer service that held its grand opening in November, is hiring for several positions.

Located in Indian Land’s Edgewater Corporate Center near U.S 521 and S.C. 160, SOI is hiring employees who have accounting, payroll, human resource or other office experience.

Tunnell said SOI plans to hire between 60 and 80 people within the next eight to 12 months. Those interested can apply online at www.soi.com. Jobs are listed as “Payroll Specialist-Charlotte,” which refer to jobs at the Indian Land headquarters.

Nutramax Labs, which moved into the Lancaster Business Park this year, has already hired 20 people, but plans to add more as it refurbishes the former ZF building, which it acquired in November.

“They are in the process of cleaning that facility and will be moving equipment from Maryland and setting up operations there over the next six months,” Tunnell said about the health supplement developer.

Nutramax will be hiring workers over the next six to nine months, with an expected total of 225 employees.

Tunnell said some former ZF employees have also found jobs at Nutramax, which recently hired eight people for supervisory positions. Jobs can be found at http://nutramaxlabs.com/Careers/.

Metso Power, also located in the Lancaster Business Park, is hiring and testing for welders and has an opening for a quality control manager. Metso Power manufactures boilers and other components for pulp, paper and power industries. Open positions are found at http://careers.fi/metso/careers.cgi.

“This is a trend I see where lots of employers are adding employees and having small expansion projects,” Tunnell said. “It looks like the economy is turning the corner. Instead of companies laying people off, they’re adding them on.”

Apply for jobs online

Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell recommends job-seekers apply for upcoming jobs online at local companies’ websites. He said staff at the local OneStop can help people locate and fill out online applications. Here are websites for four local companies which are hiring:

• Procter & Gamble (Duracell): http://www.pg.com/en_US/careers/index.shtml/

• SOI Corp.: http://soi.com/careersMain.shtml?M=M6

• Nutramax Labs: http://nutramaxlabs.com/Careers/

• Metso Power: http://careers.fi/metso/careers.cgi

By Chris Sardelli, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News