By Sandy Foster
LIBERTY — A new industry is moving to Pickens County and bringing with it about 40 jobs, according to economic development officials.
Tri Tech USA officials plan to start construction of a new facility at the county’s industrial park in Liberty in January and be operational by July or August, said Ray Farley, director of Alliance Pickens.
The company, currently headquartered in South Burlington, Vt. plans to invest $4 million in the project, he said.
The owners of the company said the decision to relocate was a difficult one, but they were very pleased to be joining the Pickens County community.
“We had many issues to consider in making our decision,’ said Joe and Linda Bacigalupo.
They said the county, Alliance Pickens, and the state worked very hard to win their commitment to move here.
“It is clear to us that the support will continue long after the move, and we look forward to supporting the local community to make this a ‘win-win’ for everyone,” they said.
The company will be making mobile kitchens for the U.S. military, according to Farley.
These kitchens will help feed 90 to 600 troops at a time, depending on size and can be taken to locations via airplane, helicopter or truck, he said.
The products will be used to feed, nourish and comfort the front line soldiers in military operations worldwide, he said.
Tri Tech will also manufacture metal components used in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, food processing and furniture.
Farley said this will utilize the talented workforce in Pickens County, requiring metal working, assembly, welding, CNC operations, plumbing and electrical, and S.C. Secretary of Commerce called the move an “extraordinary testament to our state’s business-friendly climate and the strength of our state’s workforce.”
County Council chairman G. Neil Smith also said that getting a new industry during the current poor economic climate solidified their belief that having a pro-business atmosphere will continue to generate new jobs.
“Pickens County Council is proud that Tri Tech USA has chosen Pickens County as its new home,” he said.
The Liberty office of the S.C. Employment Security Commission will handle job applications, and ReadySC will handle employee training at Tri-County Technical College.
The manufacturing positions at the future 41,000 square foot facility will pay an average of $17 per hour.