But one of the most exciting things for Allegro President Tom Johnston is that he and his wife will now be able to regularly see their daughter, who will be attending Clemson University.
“The only person happier than you all about bringing jobs here is my wife, because my daughter will be close by,” Johnston told a crowd of about 90 people at the Pickens County Council chambers on Monday afternoon.
Johnston said that he started Allegro Industries about 23 years ago. The company’s products include respirators, respirator accessories and ventilators.
“This new location will allow us to increase our production capacity as well as give us a presence in the Southeastern United States,”
Johnston said. “In spite of the economy, Allegro has grown and is excited to expand its operations. Pickens County provides an excellent business environment for Allegro Industries, with a strong workforce and exceptional market access. With this move we will be able to be more responsive to our East Coast customers.”
Johnston said that many Pickens County residents may already be familiar with Allegro’s products — even though they may not have realized who made them.
“The next time you drive down the road and see one of those orange blowers with yellow tubes going down into a manhole, it’s likely an Allegro product,” Johnston said. “In fact, the last time I was here at the Sonic in Clemson, there were two of our units being used on that corner. My daughter chastised me for getting out of the car and taking pictures.”
The company will also need to rely on some of Pickens County’s local vendors, he said.
The company will be located next to Tri Tech USA in the Pickens County Commerce Park.
Johnston said it was a “very good experience” working with Pickens County and South Carolina.
Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor said that Allegro’s move to Pickens County is a “reminder of the positive things occurring throughout our state.”
“From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, South Carolina continues to demonstrate that it has the resources to be highly competitive in today’s economy.”
Pickens County Council Chairman Neil Smith said, “All of us in Pickens County are excited about the prospects of 45 new jobs. We appreciate the investment of Allegro Industries and we look forward to their success.”
Allegro will begin the construction process of the new facility this year and will begin hiring for the first positions in the first quarter of 2011. It will work with the Workforce One—Stop office in Liberty when it starts hiring.
Alliance Pickens Executive Director Ray Farley said the commerce park has been able to bring in 580,000 square feet of facility space, six facilities and about 1,200 jobs since 2005.