SC manufacturer of ecological straws seeks workers for its future growth | Business

A Canadian manufacturer of compostable packaging for the food industry is adding staff to its Hampton County manufacturing plant as it progresses with a $ 70 million investment announced more than three years ago.

Evanesce is looking to hire 45 workers to fill production operator and maintenance technician positions to fully staff – for now – its Early Branch site, which is located between Yemassee and Varnvillle.

Vancouver-based company noted last year, it invested $ 17 million to equip the plant with 15,000 square feet of machinery where it will produce more than a million compostable straws per day.

The establishment experienced a “soft” opening in September with a workforce of around twenty people and a plan to increase its payroll to 78.

“We will need to add 10 or 15 more workers in the future,” said the founder and CEO of the company. Douglas horne, a former Canadian politician.

The factory is currently operating three shifts per day. Horne said the plan is to move to 24/7 operation.

Evanesce announced in October 2018 that it plans to invest $ 70 million and create 368 new jobs over five years to build its first large-scale production operation in the nearby town of Walterboro.

The company planned to open its 100,000-square-foot factory in the Colleton County Trade Center in early 2019 to produce platters of meat, seafood, vegetables and meals for the U.S. market.

He has since scaled back that shot, opting for a slower approach instead.

“We started out smaller at Early Branch to make compostable straws. This is the first part of the $ 70 million plan,” said Horne.

ecological containers (copy)

Evanesce needs 45 workers to fully staff its new manufacturing facility in Hampton County, where it will produce compostable products for the restaurant industry. File / Brad Nettles / Staff

Over the next several years, Horne said he hopes to expand his operations to manufacture polymer plastic products and a material formed from a proprietary and environmentally friendly technology developed by the company.

“It looks like styrofoam, but it’s 100 percent compostable,” Horne said.

While working on future expansion plans, Evanesce hosted a job fair on January 6 to fill 45 positions at the plant. The hourly pay scale ranges from $ 15 to $ 22.

“These are the kinds of well-paying jobs that economists and policymakers have said the green economy can usher in and support for middle-class families,” said David Chaplin, plant manager.

The job market is already tight in Hampton County, where unemployment fell to 2.8% in November, or about 225 people, according to the latest data from the Department of Employment and Workforce. SC.

Since its opening, the company has been hiring little by little to fill positions.

“We’ve been lucky so far,” said Horne. “We’ve had a number of career fairs and have been able to find people, but it’s a process of finding the right people.”

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