Local Data

Location & Expansion Log

Diverse companies – from startups to multinational corporations – continue to relocate and expand existing operations in the Charleston region.

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Downsizing

2008

Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corp.

December 31, 2008

Steamship line

Due to a worldwide slow-down in the ocean shipping business, the company is consolidating some of its North American offices and reducing its local labor force by an undisclosed number, though the firm's Daniel Island office in Charleston will remain open.

Force Protection

December 16, 2008

Military vehicles

Company announces layoffs of 150 workers by the end of the month as a U.S. Department of Defense contract for large military vehicles (MRAPs) comes to an end. As production of these vehicles declines, Force Protection is adding workers to its sustainment and spare parts operations.

AAI Inc

November 24, 2008

Aircraft maintenance and training systems

Due to decreased demand for a simulator manufactured for the U.S. Air Force, AAI laid off 23 workers at its Goose Creek plant in Berkeley County.

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company Inc.

October 14, 2008

Regional corporate headquarters for retail grocery chain

The Charleston-based company operates more than 100 supermarkets and employs 5,000 workers in North and South Carolina and Georgia. To remain competitive in the industry, the firm laid off approximately 30 workers at its Charleston area offices and warehouses.

Gates Corporation

June 2, 2008

Automotive timing belts

The Denver-based company will begin paring down the 197-employee payroll in early September with layoffs to follow for an additional five to six months and is expected to shut down entirely in the first quarter of 2009.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car Call Center

May 31, 2008

Car Rental Customer Service Call Center

Company officials reportedly chose to close this ten year old customer service center for reasons relating to technology capabilities of the physical facility, after acquiring it from another auto rental company in late 2007. The firm stressed its praise of the commitment and performance of the 250 workers affected.

Force Protection

May 30, 2008

Military vehicles

The Ladson-based company has trimmed its number of employees to 1,540 from a peak of about 2,000 late last year. In addition, the company is moving part of its operation from Summerville to Roxboro, N.C., where it bought a former automotive plant in 2007. The number of employees affected has not been determined.

Mikasa (American Commercial Inc.)

March 31, 2008

Distribution of tableware and flatware

Mikasa, a well-known maker of tableware and flatware, is closing its Charleston distribution facility, affecting 175 jobs.

Argolyn Bioscience

March 10, 2008

Biological research

Company will move its headquarters to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, but will maintain its existing research and discovery activities in Charleston, South Carolina, where Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Tom Dix, will continue to be located.

Express

March 10, 2008

Express clothing store

Closing Meeting St. store.

Metropolitan Deluxe

February 25, 2008

High-end home furnishings

Maersk Sealand

January 13, 2008

Steamship liner shipping agency

The company's Mount Pleasant customer service/call center will close, consolidating these operations along with a similar one in Portsmouth VA to another facility in Charlotte NC to improve efficiency. All of its 140 customer service employees were offered the option of relocating to the Charlotte facility, and about 40 took the offer while the other 100 reportedly chose to remain in the Charleston region for other local opportunities. The rest of Maersk's local operations will also remain in the Charleston area.

American LaFrance

January 7, 2008

Firefighting Equipment

Corporate headquarters for firetruck and ambulance manufacturing furloughed 100 workers. Filing for bankruptcy and closing Hanahan and Jedburg facilities. UPDATE (May 27, 2008) - American LaFrance LLC announced it has emerged from bankruptcy after the company’s Plan of Reorganization was accepted by a judge on Friday. The company had filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, after putting about 100 employees on furlough and accruing more than $100 million in debt, according to court documents. The furlough ended March 31st and a “majority” of the workers returned, according to a company release.

TJ Maxx

January 7, 2008

Retail chain store

Retail chain store closing North Charleston branch affecting 42 jobs.

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