LAWTON, Okla._A major company in Lawton announced they will be expanding their business and bringing in more jobs.
Silver-Line Plastics is a North Carolina-based, plastic pipe product manufacturer that first opened their Lawton branch 15 years ago. Because of the success they've seen in the community, they've decided to double the size of the plant. Silver-Line will add 20 new jobs at the plant and they expect as many as 80 more across the community to be created as a result of the expansion.
Silver-Line CEO Ricky Silver says when he first visited Lawton, he knew it would be a good fit. The city had done their research and seemed invested in the project, which made them stand apart from other locations.
"They found out about us. They didn't just say 'oh it sounds good let's give them a bunch of dirt and hope it works out.' They really cared and that meant a lot to us," said Silver.
The building was actually intended to be a satellite site at first, but now as they double in size, it will make Lawton one of the company's primary locations.
"That's not often done in our industry. Most companies that have multiple plants have a large plant and they have several satellite plants, so it's very unusual to do what we're doing," explained Silver.
This unusual investment is a reassuring one for city officials. It's predicted to result in $10 million of capital investment in the next five years. Lawton Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Barry Albrecht says new strategies engage the community with businesses, such as Silver-Line, which in this case has resulted in job creation and capital investment in the community.
"With new jobs and new capital investment, this secures Lawton in having an economic future in the positive," said Albrecht.
The Lawton Fort Sill Economic Develop Corporation has been pushing hard to bring new businesses into town. And even though this may not be a new business, Chairman Phil Kennedy says when an existing business invests so much into the community, it sets a great example for other businesses who consider setting up shop in Lawton.
"They are so kind, because they have such a great relationship with us and our community, our citizens that they are one of our chief selling opportunities that we have," said Kennedy.
The company currently has 60 full-time employees and 40 temporary employees. They will primarily be hiring for manufacturing jobs. Hourly pay is expected to range from $12 to $16 per hour.