Accent Stainless Steel, a Canadian manufacturer of craft and micro-brewing systems and other processing equipment, plans to expand into the U.S. with a new headquarters in Horry County. The company’s $3.1 million investment is expected to create 65 new, high-skilled manufacturing jobs averaging $22 per hour, approximately 65 percent higher than Horry County’s current average wage.
“Our goal is to set up a world-class manufacturing facility in South Carolina that can produce high quality products for our domestic and international clients. Micro-breweries are a big industry for us and I look forward to manufacturing the Newlands brand of brewing equipment in this new facility. I feel that Horry County has the training centers, infrastructure, and standard of living to attract top-notch people that will help make our company successful. I look forward to working with them along this journey.” said Balbir Sidhu, vice president/manufacturing of Accent Stainless Steel.
Accent Stainless Steel specializes in manufacturing the Newlands Systems brand of brewing equipment and other stainless steel process equipment for the food and beverage, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries throughout the globe. The company will work with a real estate developer to construct and lease a new 50,000-square-foot facility in Horry County with plans to be open and operational by the end of 2014.
As the micro-brewing industry continues to rapidly grow in North America, the company’s president and technical director, Brad McQuhae, saw this expansion as an opportunity to locate Accent Stainless Steel’s American headquarters and U.S. production closer to some of their biggest clients in that industry. The expansion to the U.S. East Coast will generate significant logistics savings for the company and will allow additional business opportunities in the region.
“Accent Stainless Steel’s decision to build a headquarters in South Carolina underscores our strong history with foreign investment. The Palmetto State leads the nation in per-capita job creation through foreign-direct investment, according to IBM. That is a ranking we are proud of; it shows that our business-friendly climate and workforce development programs are just right for any company,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
Accent Stainless Steel’s history with South Carolina dates back around 20 years, when the company partnered with Palmetto Brewing Company in Charleston, S.C. to build the first brewery in the state since Prohibition.
Additional factors that contributed to the company’s decision to expand to the Southeast include access to a quality workforce and available training opportunities through Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s newly implemented welding program.