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New plant on track for 2018

HarbisonWalker to host job fair for 40 positions

The CEO of the company set to open a new manufacturing site at The Point Industrial Park told attendees at the annual Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce dinner that plans for the South Point facility are on track.

Carol Jackson, CEO of HarbisonWalker International, a refractories company based out of Pittsburgh, was the keynote speaker at the awards event on Friday.

“We are really honored to be here tonight,” Jackson said. “We are proud HarbisonWalker is becoming part of the Lawrence County community.”

She said the plant, on which ground was broken in June, is on track to be “fully operational” by mid-2018.

It is expected to employ 40 people and she said the company will host a job fair at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13.

“There are a number of positions with a range of requirements,” Jackson said. “I urge you to encourage your family and community members to look at these positions on our website.”

The plant, the company’s first since 1978, will have an 8,000-metric ton-capacity.

Jackson said it will be a top-of-the-line facility with “a high degree of automation and new technology” and will focus on increased operating efficiency and advance packaging technology.

She said the company chose South Point from several possible locations, due to being courted by the Lawrence County Economic Development Coalition and the transportation options and logistics of a Lawrence County site.

“We chose South Point because of the enthusiasm and inspired nature of the LEDC team,” Jackson said, singling out director Bill Dingus for praise, for his efforts in luring the company.

“We are thrilled that South Point is our newest location,” she said. “Things are coming up fast. There’s a tremendous amount of work done on the project. It’s on track and under budget. We’re exciting to get things rolling here.”

Jackson said HWI is the largest refractories company in the U.S. and produces heat and chemical-resistant materials used in manufacturing.

“We focus on asset protection,” she said, noting the company’s products, which take the form of bricks and mortar or chemical compounds, are used in ladles for molten steel, glass production, the chemical industry and artisan kilns.

“There’s nothing made in the world that hasn’t, at some point, touched a refractoring product,” Jackson said. “We’re all around you, whether you know it or not.”

Following Jackson’s speech, the Chamber presented its annual award.

The Proctorville Animal Clinic was named as Business of the Year.

“As a mother, I couldn’t be happier to have such service in Lawrence County,” Stephanie Burcham said, noting that she has taken several pets to the clinic, which was also cited for its state-of-the-art facility, built in 2012, and the opportunities it give students from The Ohio State University for clinical training. “What a tremendous honor this is,” Dr. Mike Dyer said in receiving the award. “As vets, we’re not really trained in business. This is truly a unique honor and we are humbled.”

R W Rentals in South Point was named the 2017 Small Business Advocate, presented by Bryan Gilpin.
He said the company was launched by Fred Waller and his son Richard out of a garage, before moving to The Point.

“We’re truly honored to be here,” Fred said. “We had lots of help. We started with nothing and we thank the Chamber and Bill Dingus for helping to make this happen.”

Randy Kelley was named as Entrepreneur of the Year, Robin Fowler was honored as the George Patterson Community Servant and Massie Schemmel received the year’s Chamber President Award.

The event closed with the passing of the gavel, with outgoing Chamber president Schemmel making way for Gilpin.