10/03/06 — Plant wil add dozen new jobs

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Plant wil add dozen new jobs

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 3, 2006 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Hilex Poly officials announced Monday that the company's plant in Mount Olive will begin a multi-million dollar expansion in the coming weeks to continue growth for the plastic bag manufacturer.

Although officials wouldn't detail how much money is being invested in the project, the addition of two machines will help increase the plant's production capacity by about 15 percent and create a dozen more jobs, Hilex Poly plant manager Kim Bowers said.

The Mount Olive plant's employee production was one of the main reasons company officials decided to expand operations at Hilex Poly, Ms. Bowers said.

"I really think our workforce and the effort they put in every day helped our officials decide to expand here," she said.

Hilex Poly, which is headquartered in Hartsville, S.C., has 12 plants in the United States. The Mount Olive plant, which has been there for 19 years and specializes in the production of plastic grocery bags, is one of the company's top performers, Ms. Bowers said.

As the new machines are being installed, Ms. Bowers said Hilex Poly will work with the Wayne County Development Alliance to secure any possible grants or incentives. The machines should be ready for production before Thanksgiving, she added.

Following that expansion, the company is planning to improve its railroad infrastructure at the beginning of next year. Ms. Bowers said Hilex Poly will expand its railroad tracks so more rail cars will deliver and distribute raw materials and finished products.

Hilex Poly's job openings include machine operators and material handlers.

The company is accepting applications through the Employment Security Commission.