Plastics company to move to county

Published 4:53 am Saturday, October 6, 2007

By Staff
Southtech to be housed at the Chocowinity Industrial Park
Staff Writer
Southtech Plastics, a New Bern-based plastics manufacturer, is relocating to Beaufort County, Tom Thompson, executive director of the Beaufort Economic Commission announced Friday night at the Beaufort County Committee of 100 annual banquet.
Golden LEAF gave Southtech $1 million in funds to assist in the construction of a 62,500 square-foot manufacturing facility on 10 acres of the 274 acre Chocowinity Industrial Park site. The foundation has already given $1 million in grant money towards the park site, which is owned by the Committee of 100.
Bill Cohn, past president and family shareholder of Southtech, said a larger facility will increase sales from $14.6 million in 2007 to $30.3 million by 2011. The facility will be up and running by January 2009.
The company molds plastic for automobiles, boats and custom buses, Thompson said.
Southtech is housed “inside three metal building in New Bern, which is not only too small but their lease is running out,” he said.
The New Bern location gives Southtech only 20,000 square-feet, but the new facility at the Chocowinity Industrial Park will be 60,000 square-feet, Thompson said. “It’s extremely well managed with a strong history of growth.”
The relocation is expected to bring 75 jobs already in New Bern and create 25 new jobs. It also should bring an $2 million investment in equipment over the next three years.
Cohn said 25 new jobs is a low estimate. “We are about employing people,” he said.
In 1989, Southtech started in a 2,000 square-foot warehouse in New Bern. The money came from Cohn’s grandfather, and then Cohn, his parents, uncle and brother had a hand in building the first machine.
Southtech closes down its plant every Wednesday morning for prayer service. “We bring local pastors in from different backgrounds. It’s not mandatory. We founded this company on God and will continue that,” he said.
Cohn said the company was considering different locations outside of North Carolina, but wanted to stay close to home. “Our families are from here. We plan to be here forever,” he said.