Harbor Freight Tools, Dillon County’s largest employer, is expanding its East Coast distribution facility. The 1 million-square-foot expansion will bring the company’s total investment in South Carolina to more than $200 million and is expected to create 500 jobs.
Groundbreaking for the expansion is slated for the end of 2017. The project is expected to be completed by early 2019.
“Since we opened our first facility here in 2001, the company has continued to grow, and so has our need for a larger distribution center,” Eric Smidt, Harbor Freight Tools founder and CEO, said in a news release. “We've made an investment in Dillon, becoming part of the community, and we're proud to expand our presence in this region. Dillon County, along with leaders from Marion and Marlboro County, were instrumental in our decision to expand here.”
Founded in 1977, the California-based company has more than 800 stores nationwide and more than 40 million customers. Harbor Freight Tools has expanded its distribution center twice before, in 2006 and in 2014.
The company currently employs 650 at its Dillon facility in positions from warehouse stockers to managers.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the expansion, and Dillon County received a $5 million rural infrastructure grant to assist with site preparation costs.
“Harbor Freight Tools’ continued investment in Dillon County and in our people is a testament to our approach to creating a competitive business environment where companies of all kinds can thrive,” S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said. “The 500 jobs this great company is creating will make a difference in the lives of South Carolinians, and for that, we couldn't be more grateful.”