Landing gear company brings 300 jobs to Marion Co.

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A company specializing in repairing and manufacturing landing gears is investing $5 million into a new operations facility in Marion County, a move expected to create 300 new jobs over the next five years.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Marion County and North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) officially welcomed ACAS Landing Gear to the area.

ACAC will operate its new facility in the former Sara Lee building in Marion. The plant will focus on re-manufacturing landing gear and landing gear components. ACAS currently services a range of Boeing aircraft, as well as an array of military and commercial planes.

"The facility in Marion County will allow us to meet increasing customer demand for our services," said ACAS CEO Gary Partin. "South Carolina provides an excellent fit for us, with a positive business environment and a top-notch workforce. We look forward to opening our new operations there and appreciate all the support from state and local officials."

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said the company's decision to invest in the state is "a telling reminder of South Carolina's growing role as a hub for the aerospace industry."

"It's also an indication that we're making significant progress toward bettering our state's business climate and making us more competitive by lowering taxes, easing regulatory burdens, and keeping South Carolina a right-to-work state," Sanford added.

South Carolina is home to more than 100 aerospace-related companies investing billions of dollars in the state and operating in 23 of South Carolina's 46 counties, employing more than 16,000 South Carolinians.

Last fall, Boeing announced it will locate the company's second final assembly facility to support the 787 Dreamliner program in North Charleston. Once completed, the facility will be one of three final assembly facilities for wide-body jets in the world.

"When we worked to recruit Boeing's second final assembly facility for the 787 to Charleston, we were confident that it would lead to a growth in aviation investments throughout the state, and to see the first announcement come to the Pee Dee region is especially exciting," said Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence).

The company plans to begin hiring for available positions in March. Individuals interested in job opportunities are encouraged to contact the Marion One-Stop Workforce Center at: 843-423-8288 or visit their offices in Marion at 1305 N. Main St. The company will also join Marion County and state officials in an announcement ceremony in mid-March.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.