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New plastics industry welcomed
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Officials welcomed the county's newest industry, Amesbury Extruded Products, to town Monday afternoon, hosting a ceremonial ground turning in the 45,000 square foot building shell at 13170 Lochridge Blvd.

The plastics extrusion company hopes to open its newest manufacturing plant by January, said Plant Manager Tim McCormick. The plant will represent an initial investment of $4 million. Pattillo will complete the building at a cost of $2 million, while Amesbury will bring in $1.3 million in assets and invest another $300,000 in the building.

The company expects to be at full operating capacity in three to five years, at which point it will employ 35 to 40 workers and represent a total investment of $7 million to $8 million.

The presence of Pattillo's shell building was a key factor in the company choosing Covington over other finalists.

"Getting business up and running within three months is much better than a six to eight month time frame," said McCormick, who said the next alternative would have been to locate the plant in North Carolina, where Amesbury already does business.

The Covington plant will produce plastic extruded products, including trim for doors and windows. Extrusion is the process by which a material, such as plastic, is sent through a die of a certain shape, which can create intricate patterns and allow for specialized uses.

Amesbury products are commonly seen on vinyl windows including the hardware, plastic components and pile weather-stripping.

Amesbury makes a variety of other plastic products, including trim for golf carts, glass wrap, boat rub rails and dock bumps, point of purchase signs used in retail stores, clips that hold signs on shelves and any custom needs that businesses design.

Long term, the Covington location may also become a distribution center for the company or a supply base where customers can pick up their products. Amesbury has plants around the U.S. and North America, so Covington could be a strategic location.

"We're very happy to be here, and we're anxious to get going," Todd Betterley, vice president of Amesbury Extruded Products, said Monday. "You were easy to work with."

Amesbury did not receive any local incentives, said Roger Harrison, senior vice president of economic development for the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

"Amesbury coming to our community sends a strong message that we are serious about economic development, and everyone involved is working together in harmony for the greater good of the business and the community," Harrison said in a press release.