A long-time tenant in Columbia County’s Horizon South Industrial Park in Grovetown is ready to grow.
Palmetto Industries broke ground Thursday, on the first phase of a two-phase expansion project.
”We’re excited to be here,” Chamber President and CEO, Russell Lahodny said. “It’s not every day that we get to do these things. So, when we get to do a groundbreaking, it’s pretty impressive.”
The new phases are being built alongside the company’s existing facility on Horizon West Parkway. It will add 50,000 square feet of new office, factory, and warehouse space.
“We are very excited about your expansion here in our community,” said Grovetown Councilwoman, Deborah Fisher. “We’re excited about jobs. We’re excited about the manufacturing base that’s expanding here in our community.”
Founded in 1994, Palmetto Industries manufactures bags and bulk containers used across multiple industries. The company slogan is “We Package the Planet.”
“I’ve enjoyed learning about your business over the past few days and appreciate your ability to leverage technology, vertically integrate and expand your capabilities in an ever-changing industry,” said District 4 Commissioner, Alison Couch. “When you invest in our county, you invest in our schools, you invest in our parks, and you invest in our public health and safety.”
Palmetto Industries started in a building on Tobacco Road and moved from there, to a location on Gordon Highway before ultimately building in Horizon South.
The company currently has about 30 employees in the existing facility. Company President and CEO, Shankar Balan said the expansions will create additional jobs.
“And we’re going to do it in phases,” he said. “So, I think phase one might be about 50. And then with everyone’s support, we might do another 40 to 45, I think so.”
Balan told Augusta Business Daily they train employees in-house, but there are certain skills individuals interested in applying for one of the new jobs should consider going to train for, while the new facilities are under construction.
“Distribution, manufacturing, Process Flow, finance, R&D (research and development), leadership. That’s how you cultivate the next stage, right? I’ve got a great team,” he said. “But we need to, as the company grows, we need all the strengths.”
Born in India, Balan was living in Michigan when a spur-of-the-moment trip to Augusta 30 years ago made him realize it was where he wanted to establish his business and build a life with his family.
“If anybody you know wants to relocate to Georgia, I will be one of the first guys to stand up and say, ‘Welcome to Georgia,’” he said.