A $35 million expansion at a local printing plant will add 100 jobs.
Quebecor World announced the expansion last week. The work will add about 17,000 square feet, a rotogravure press and three "saddle stitchers" to the plant on Evans to Locks Road in Evans.
"This is a very significant investment," said Ron Thigpen, the chairman of the Columbia County Development Authority. "It's an exciting day for Columbia County to see such an expansion of existing industry."
Plant Manager Bob Davis said the project is the result of a new contract with Brylane Inc., the parent company of clothier Lane Bryant. Quebecor will print the Lane Bryant catalog. While the rotogravure press will be used to print catalogs, the "saddle stitchers" will bind, cut and label the catalogs.
"We are the premier catalog printing plant in the country and we now have the incentives to make (this project) happen," Davis said.
The incentives include:
$40 million in taxable bonds issued by the Columbia County Development Authority to pay for the project. The county will take ownership of the expansion and lease it back to the company for six years. The money paid to the county will cover the bond payments.
An estimated $300,000 in road improvements to the Evans to Locks Road and Industrial Park Drive area. The county will pay for most of the road work.
Continued use of the QuickStart program at Augusta Technical College.
The company's Evans location focuses on high-quality catalogs, with press runs averaging more than 1 million copies. Other Quebecor clients include Circuit City, L.L. Bean, K-Mart and Spiegel.
Davis said the company's business really hasn't been affected since Sept. 11. After all, many companies that sell goods via catalogs can't afford not to publish.
"That's their storefront," he said.
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