PICKENS COUNTY — In a special called meeting on Tuesday morning, the Pickens County Council approved the third reading of an ordinance providing for a fee in lieu of tax and incentive agreement for “Project Dairy” — a code name for a business which was revealed to be United Tool and Mold, Inc., a leading provider of new tooling projects, engineering changes and repair services for the plastics industry.
United Tool and Mold (UTM) was established in 1995 with their location in Easley. From there, the company expanded to Duncan, S.C., in 2003 following a “change in company philosophy.”
“We changed the structure of our business to be more of a provider of engineering changes and repairs to the local plastics industry in upstate S.C.,” said a UTM spokesperson. “This change provided UTM with the ability to be more flexible and able to take on all emergencies that our customers could throw at us.”
In 2009, UTM opened a plant in Rainbow City, Ala., and a year later expanded into new tool management services with the purchase of Jungwoo-USA.
The company’s newest growth spurt — an $11.1 million expansion into a 60,000-square-foot facility in the Pickens County Commerce Park — is expected to create 17 jobs, said Ray Farley, executive director of Pickens Alliance.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $75,000 Set Aside grant to Pickens County to assist with the costs of building construction.
“We chose Pickens County in 1995 to start United Tool and Mold and we are very appreciative of the support from the S.C. Department of Commerce and Pickens County leadership to help us increase our footprint in Pickens County,” said UTM President Scott Phipps. “Their willingness to help us expand our operations, rooted in this community, is the main reason why we are choosing Pickens County again.
“This investment in a state-of-the-art facility and leading-edge technology will ensure that our highly-skilled employees, many of whom call Pickens County home, will be able to live local and work local,” he said.
It has not been made clear if the expansion into the commerce park is in addition to the Easley facility or if the original location will be shuttered.
S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt stated UTM’s expansion was “yet another sign S.C.’s manufacturing industry is thriving.”
“This new investment will make a real difference in the community and I look forward to what the future has in store for United Tool and Mold,” Hitt said.
Governor Henry McMaster also congratulated the company on their success.
“Today, we celebrate United Tool and Mold’s decision to expand its operations in the Upstate,” said McMaster. “This investment illustrates the company’s commitment to South Carolina and its people, and we look forward to watching their continued success here for years to come.”
“United Tool and Mold has been a member of the Pickens County family for 23 years. This expansion is a testament to their partnership and desire to be a strong leader in our community and to their commitment of excellence on a global scale,” said Roy Costner, chairman of the Pickens County Council. “Congratulations on keeping the plastics industry running in an exceptional way.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.