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Two companies have ribbon cuttings
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Officials celebrated ribbon cuttings Thursday for two previously-announced companies that are now up and running at Lochridge Industrial Park off Ga. Highway 142 in Covington.

Amesbury Extruded Products, a plastics extrusion industry, and Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler Company, a sprinkler design and installation company, were both welcomed to the Covington community by chamber, city, county and economic development officials.

Amesbury has hired seven workers, including two former Berry Plastics workers, and invested $1.7 million in equipment and building improvements to its 13170 Lochridge Blvd. location.

The company primarily makes plastic trim for doors and windows, but also produces 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.

"Basically we convert pellets of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) into precisely shaped strands (profiles) of PVC, using heat and pressure, for use in windows and door, among other applications. Think play-dough machine on steroids," said Plant Manager Tim McCormick, a Newborn resident.

The company started operations Jan. 24. Amesbury's facility was converted from a shell building to a fully operational industry in only five weeks by Pattillo Construction, which built Lochridge Industrial Park. The quick turnaround time was one of the reasons Covington landed Amesbury in the first place.

The improvements to the building added an additional $1 million in value to the building, said John Drake, Pattillo's director of leasing and development.

Amesbury hopes to ramp up operations during the next three to five yeas and expects to employ 35 to 40 workers and represent a total investment of $7 million to $8 million at its peak.

"We are pleased to be operating in Covington and are very fortunate to have found a great core group of motivated individuals to help us launch and grow our business here," McCormick said. "We look forward to a long future of continued and increasing opportunities."

Palmetto Sprinkler
While Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler Company (PASCO) has much less equipment than Amesbury, the company already employs 53 workers.

George Ford, who handles sales and operations, said the majority of the workers were hired locally and that the company has spent about $250,000 on building improvements and equipment, including vehicles.

The Covington office is full service, including designing and installing sprinkler systems and servicing existing fire sprinkler systems. This is PASCO's third office; the company employs approximately 140 total employees.

Drake said Lochridge contains around 20 companies and has space available from 5,700 square feet to 200,000 square feet, including both multi and single-tenant buildings.