PICKENS COUNTY — Pickens County Commerce Park just got a new neighbor and 56 new jobs will be coming to the Upstate thanks to a $3.4 million expansion of JR Automation Technologies.
“We are pleased to announce the launch of our new facility and we are grateful for all the support we have received from the community here in Pickens County,” said JR Automation CEO Bryan Jones. “JR’s rapid growth is truly a testament to the strength of our relationships with our customers, suppliers and and neighbors and to the dedication of all our employees. We look forward to seeing that growth continue at our new facility.”
Jennifer Willis, chairwoman of the Pickens County Council, said JR Automation Technologies was first attracted to the area because of the successes from area students from the Career and Technology Center.
“These students compete annually on a local level, on a state level, on a regional level, on a national level and on an international level. And folks, they don’t just compete, they play to win — and they come home with awards, often,” said Willis.
“This is one of our greatest assets, the people of Pickens County. Those kids who are winning national and international competitions … caught the attention of JR Automation Technologies in Michigan. They decided to come here to Pickens County and test the waters because of our students,” she said.
JR Automation Technologies had been leasing a 21,000-square-foot building in Pickens prior to Monday’s announcement. Construction on the company’s new 50,000-square-foot facility in the Commerce Park is expected to be finished by June 2017, a company spokesperson said.
JR Automation Technologies was established in Holland, Mich., in 1980 to provide custom automated solutions in a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace and pharmaceutical, just to name a few. When asked how the new Pickens County expansion would affect the company’s plant in Michigan, Jones was quick to dispel any rumors they were moving operations.
“We’re expanding our Michigan operations also, neither is taking away from the other, it’s an expansion overall,” Jones said. “We’re really excited about that.”
S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt stated that Monday’s announcement was further proof that S.C.’s manufacturing industry “continues to thrive” and Gov. Nikki Haley called the expansion the “motivation we need to keep Team South Carolina focused on bringing home the next economic development win for the state.”
Hiring for JR Automation Technologies is expected to being immediately.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.