February 21, 2013
Summer 2014 will see a major new investment in Graniteville with the opening of Recleim’s new recycling facility.
A day after the announcement of the $40.6 million investment and 200 new jobs being created, Recleim CEO Ben Hirokawa laid out how the start-up chose Graniteville and how long the process was, as well as a timeline to opening.
“There are a number of factors,” Hirokawa said. “South Carolina is well known for its pro-business atmosphere. We have been talking to Aiken County for some time – they emphasized it is a good place to work. And the workforce there can be very complimentary to what we need. And having the college right there will be beneficial.”
“They were just looking and (Hickman Mill) happened to fit the bill,” said Ronnie Young, chairman of Aiken County Council.
As for the revitalization of its future home, Recleim is moving quickly.
“We are in the process of finalizing plans for the building … then having construction begin,” Hirokawa said. “We are finalizing, optimizing the design of the equipment.”
Moving to staffing and jobs, the CEO offered a timeline.
“Initially, we are hiring key members of the management team,” he said. “Potentially a plant manager, a quality systems manager we are hiring now. We target hiring for other positions early next year … technicians, line workers, sanitation, etc.”
“We should open by summer 2014,” Hirokawa added.
The renovation and redesign of the former textile plant will continue.
“The actual renovation of the facility, we are in the final design phase of that,” Hirokawa said. “We will be making a decision – Evans Construction is doing the architecture. I’m sure they will put in a bid for that work.”