200 jobs could come to Sumter with new Apex Tool expansion

August 10, 2014

Company will shutter its plants in Texas, Arkansas


Apex Tool will add between 150 and 200 jobs to its Sumter location beginning next year after the company announced it will restructure its manufacturing efforts by closing facilities in Texas and Arkansas.

The global tool manufacturer headquartered in Maryland said because the announcement comes as part of its consolidation efforts that will shutter facilities in Dallas and Springdale, Arkansas, those employees will have the first opportunity to apply for the new Sumter positions. 

"All three of these facilities are operating substantially below capacity, so we need to consolidate these manufacturing operations in order to be competitive and serve our customers efficiently," Apex Tool Group told thecitywire.com in a statement.

The Arkansas media outlet reported Thursday that layoffs at the Springdale location, which employs about 250 people, would begin next year.

Jay Schwedler, president of Sumter Economic Development Board, said the decision by Apex displays the company's confidence in the long-term economic stability of the Sumter area.

This is the second Sumter expansion announcement by Apex in the last three years. Back in 2011, the company announced it would bring an additional 33 jobs and $1.4 million in investments to the local facility. Like the current development, that announcement was also the result of the company's closing a separate plant and consolidating its efforts in Sumter. To help facilitate the 2011 effort, Sumter County Council authorized issuing $100,000 from the county's infrastructure budget to the plant.

It has not been announced what, if any, state or local economic incentives were offered to the company to support the Sumter expansion, although Schwedler did describe the effort to recruit the company as an "incredibly competitive project."

Allison Skipper, spokeswoman for South Carolina Department of Commerce, declined to comment on any incentives that might have been offered Apex, only saying the department could not comment on ongoing projects.

With permission of The Item. For more, visit www.theitem.com