Small arms manufacturer SCCY brings 350 jobs and an initial investment of $ 22.5 million in Blount County | news
A Florida handgun manufacturer has signed an agreement with Blount Partnership to bring more than 350 jobs to Blount County with an initial investment of $ 22.5 million and to build a 150,000-square-foot campus where corporate, Research and development and production facilities are housed.
SCCY Industries LLC – of which company president Wayne Holt said it is “probably the fastest growing semi-automatic handgun manufacturer in the United States” – also announced plans on Wednesday to move the company’s Daytona Beach headquarters to the 68-acre property in Big Springs Industrial Park.
SCCY Founder and CEO Joe Roebuck said during today’s announcement that SCCY needs to expand and it “isn’t” “not” at its current location in Daytona Beach, Florida, which employs approximately 200 people. “We have about 40,000 square feet and there is no room to grow,” said Roebuck, explaining that the manufacturer’s biggest problem there is space and power.
Roebuck said his original plan was to expand here but decided, “Tennessee was so great. We have a large piece of land. I’ll do anything there. “
“I’ll keep a small footprint in Florida, but I’m moving my headquarters here,” said Roebuck, later explaining, “It’ll just be an office – maybe some tech. Ninety-nine percent of the company comes here. “
Roebuck also said the estimated employment of 350 people is “very conservative”.
Holt focused on “quality firearms that work all the time at a very affordable price,” said Holt that the company already has two new lines of firearms to be produced after SCCY’s arrival in Blount County.
“We needed more space to make these weapons,” he said. “So when we get to Tennessee, there will actually be two more product lines that we don’t currently manufacture or sell.”
“When we’re done,” said Holt, “we’ll have pistols in every market segment in the industry.”
Roebuck said that since the company was founded in 2003, its goal has been to specifically manufacture high quality, affordable firearms for the middle class.
“There is a big vacuum in medium-sized companies,” he explained. “I saw that what was there was expensive and lacked quality.”
‘This is home’
“Actually, this is the real American dream,” said Roebuck. “I founded this company 14 years ago – September 18, 2003 – rented a small 11,000 square meter building, had nothing, no employees. I worked there myself for the first two years and 14 years later our biggest problem is space and electricity. “
After visiting several states, particularly Georgia and the Carolinas, Roebuck said he knew the fate of the company when he first set foot in Tennessee.
“This is my second time here,” he said. “It only took this one trip to say this is home.”
Roebuck said it was the friendliness of the community and the atmosphere of the Big Springs property that ultimately drew him to Blount County.
“It just felt right,” explained Roebuck. “I’ve checked out three different areas – Knox, Monroe, and Blount Counties – and the energy of the property felt right in Blount County, and I’ve never been treated so well in my life.”
Roebuck, a native New Yorker who moved to Florida in 1987, added that he is even considering the option of moving to East Tennessee himself.
“It has yet to be seen,” he said. “I have a beautiful place in Winter Park, Florida, but I love the outdoors and I love the mountains.”
“I’m open to it,” he said, noting that the company is also planning to build a lodge on site that will accommodate SCCY employees outside of town.
Under the agreement announced on Wednesday, SCCY must employ and retain at least 250 people on a pay scale of no less than $ 17 an hour for its first five years in Blount County.
Over the five-year period, Roebuck said, the company is expected to hire between 50 and 100 new employees each year, most of them locally.
“The average person doesn’t want to drive more than 30 minutes to their work place,” he said, listing jobs that range from office work to machine operation to high-level administration.
Additionally, Roebuck said a four-year paid apprenticeship program will be launched to introduce new faces to the industry.
“We have to grow ourselves,” he said. “We have to rebuild America – and it starts here.”
Since the Big Springs acreage currently has no road access or utility infrastructure that has been expanded to include the property, SCCY Industries will pay $ 25,000 per acre for 68 acres in Big Springs Industrial Park for a total cost of $ 1.50 per acre for 68 acres under the agreement announced on Wednesday. Pay $ 7 million.
However, in return for providing its own road and utility infrastructure, Blount Partnership will write a check for the same amount to SCCY.
In addition to expanding the infrastructure, SCCY plans to build a US $ 22.5 million campus with an area of 150,000 square meters that will eventually employ more than 350 people. Further construction and employment phases will be announced at a later date and the site is scheduled to go into operation in the first half of 2018.
SCCY was offered either a two-year tax break that would begin once the campus was built and an occupancy certificate was issued, or an educational grant that provided $ 1,600 per employee hired, up to a limit of $ 400,000.
Invest in the industry
“Today Blount County has another winner,” said Bob Rolfe, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economics and Community Development, following the announcement. “Thanks to a great community with great schools, a great quality of life, an excellent workforce and many other great gifts.”
Blount County’s Mayor Ed Mitchell, a long-time SCCY customer, and Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor, on Wednesday expressed their excitement to welcome the company to the area.
“Your practice is second to none,” said Mitchell.
Taylor agreed that the City of Maryville “couldn’t ask for a more suitable employer” to move into their new home in Big Springs.
Originally Skyy Industries LLC, SCCY was founded by Roebuck in South Daytona, Florida in September 2003 and began manufacturing the CPX line of 9mm handguns, according to the company’s website.
In February 2010, it was relocated to a 21,000-square-foot facility located approximately half a mile from Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The manufacturing facility produces all of the major metal components, including the barrel, slide and receiver.
The company’s CPX line of products has received accolades from firearms media such as NRA and Personal Defense World, as well as media such as the Washington Times.
Second message on firearms
SCCY’s announcement follows Advanced Munitions International’s decision to move its headquarters from Payson, Arizona to Partnership Park North in Alcoa.
Construction of the $ 553 million facility, announced in October 2015, is slated to begin in October.
“For us as a community, we’ve been trying to diversify our economies and create jobs that don’t exist here,” said Bryan Daniels, President and CEO of Blount Partnership. “And the firearms industry is one that we made # 1 on our list of areas we’d like to recruit from.”