A manufacturer in the automotive industry is expanding its operations by occupying space in Leland Innovation Park.
Bluegrass Protective Films LLC, which makes films used to protect car paint, is expected to create 17 new jobs in Brunswick County, according to a news release from Brunswick Business & Industry Development.
The company, currently headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana, a short distance from Louisville, Kentucky, will initially invest $1.8 million to expand its operations in vacant space at 8770 Trade St. in the Leland park.
The company's decision to choose Brunswick County for its expansion coincides with North Carolina’s focus to bring more automotive-related industries to the state, said Bill Early, executive director of Brunswick BID, in the release.
Bluegrass Protective Films officials had considered an expansion at its existing facility in Indiana and in Boston. But the firm "chose to expand in Brunswick County for ease of access to raw materials supply and better access to a skilled workforce,” said Tim Gerasimov, president of Bluegrass Protective Films.
He said the addition of a shipping center in North Carolina "will also allow us to offer two-day ground UPS shipping to most of our East Coast customers.”
Gerasimov said the company is leasing its Leland space, with the possibility of eventually using 40,000 square feet.
The release said Brunswick BID led the effort to support Bluegrass Protective Films in its expansion in Brunswick County.
"While initial employment is projected to be 17 within the first 3 years, there is potential for employment to increase to 33 and investment to almost $8 million within 5 years with average annual wages of $50,576, which exceeds the current average wage of $42,500 in Brunswick County," the release stated.
Randy Thompson, chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, said in the release that such wages will help grow the local economy and attract more manufacturers.
More information about the company's products can be gleaned from an August 2019 news release about the launch of its Legend Paint Protection Brand.
Legend Paint Protection Film "was founded in 2018 by a team of industry leaders and experts with a vision to design and manufacture the most protective and maintenance-free paint protection film product for car owners," the release stated. "With the professional installer in mind, we purposely designed and engineered Legend film to be remarkably easy to install."