Gun manufacturer to bring approx. 176 new jobs
Source: Kasie Strickland, The Sentinel-Progress – May 2, 2023
PICKENS COUNTY — FN America, LLC (FN America) is the United States subsidiary of FN Herstal, S.A., a global firearms manufacturer, that recently announced plans to expand its South Carolina footprint with a new production facility in Pickens County — its second in the state.
The company’s $33 million investment will create approximately 176 new jobs, according to officials.
FN America plans to build its new facility in Liberty. The approximately 100,000-square-foot or more facility will be constructed over two phases and will accommodate FN America’s expanding manufacturing operations.
The announcement came just days after the gun manufacturer proposed expansion of a new facility in Richland County, but Richland council members as well as members of the public pushed back against the deal, according to public records.
Richland Council members stated the company already had one facility in the county and was looking to secure funds to expand to a new facility across the road from their current site.
In a 5-5 vote (and one recusal) the motion to approve the facility coming to Richland County failed.
Pickens County had no such qualms.
“FN America has experienced significant growth over the last several years and demand for our products continues to increase in all market segments that we serve,” said FN America, LLC President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Cherpes. “Our new facility in Liberty, South Carolina will allow us to expand our manufacturing capabilities and grow our highly skilled workforce to meet that new demand. We are proud to partner with Pickens County and the state of South Carolina on this expansion.”
According to the company, FN America is a valued partner to the U.S. Department of Defense, developing and manufacturing small firearms for the U.S. military. In 1979, FN America broke ground on its facility in Richland County and officially opened its South Carolina operations in 1981 to manufacture the M240 medium machine gun under contract to the U.S. Army.
“Pickens County is pleased to welcome FN America to the Pickens County Commerce Park,” said Pickens County Council Chairman Chris Bowers. “We are looking forward to the addition of 176 new jobs in our county to be filled by our exceptionally skilled workforce. Pickens County is home of the Scholar Technician and our workers have the knowledge, skills and abilities to thrive in the manufacturing environment FN America is establishing here.”
FN America’s primary business focuses on the design and production of a wide range of small arms including lightweight machine guns, medium machine guns and additional weapons for the U.S. Department of Defense. Additionally, FN America produces firearms for law enforcement agencies as well as consumers. Currently, the company employs more than 600 personnel in manufacturing, engineering, logistics, product and program management, and other areas.
“FN America is one of South Carolina’s finest employers, and we are proud to see them establish new operations in Pickens County,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We are grateful for their commitment to South Carolina and look forward to watching them continue to succeed in the years to come.”
The company plans to break ground for the Pickens County facility in 2024 with an estimated completion date in 2025. The company will be hiring positions for its Pickens County facility in operations, manufacturing, quality assurance, supply chain and logistics, safety and more. Individuals interested in future positions at FN America’s Liberty, South Carolina facility are encouraged to visit www.careers.fnamerica.com.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project.