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Sea Pro Boats returns with manufacturing facility in Newberry County

July 29, 2015

Boat manufacturer to create jobs in Whitmire

Sea Pro Boats, a renowned brand in the boating industry, is returning to the market with 'The Next Wave' - an all new line of bay boats and center console offshore fishing boats. The company is investing $5.5 million in a new Newberry County manufacturing facility, generating 238 new jobs in Whitmire, S.C.

Originally founded in 1987, Sea Pro Boats, a Midlands-based company, was purchased by Brunswick Corporation in 2005. Recently, Jimmy Hancock, one of the original owners of Sea Pro, along with Tidewater Boats' founder Preston Wrenn, decided to relaunch the company, planning an all-new incarnation of the Sea Pro brand - 'The Next Wave.' The line will feature seven new models, which are expected to be introduced by the end of this summer.

Sea Pro's new Newberry County facility, a 200,000-square-foot building to be located at 25214 Highway 121 in Whitmire, will house the company's headquarters, as well as its manufacturing operations.

Expected to be fully operational in the third quarter of 2015, hiring is anticipated to begin in early fall 2015. At that time, those interested in joining the Sea Pro Boats' team should contact SC Works. For more information on the company, visit www.seapromfg.com.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set Aside grant to Newberry County to assist with costs of acquisition and real property improvements. The Council also approved job development credits related to the project.

QUOTES

"We are absolutely thrilled to be resurrecting Sea Pro Boats in Newberry County, and the outpouring of support from the town of Whitmire has been both humbling and heartwarming. I can't express how much we appreciate what Newberry County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce have done to help make this dream a reality." -Sea Pro Boats Owners Jimmy Hancock and Preston Wrenn

"We're excited to celebrate the return of one of our own companies and one of the most recognized brands in the boating industry. Sea Pro's $5.5 million investment and the 238 new jobs it will create are not only a milestone for the company but also a huge win for our Midlands community and the entire state of South Carolina." -Gov. Nikki Haley

"Thanks to announcements like today's from Sea Pro Boats, South Carolina continues to lead the manufacturing renaissance. A testament to our loyal, world-class workforce and positive business climate, Sea Pro's decision to locate in Newberry County is a big win for Team South Carolina, and I look forward to watching them succeed here for many years to come." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

"Newberry County has a strong history in boat manufacturing, so we all take special pride in this announcement. Combine that with home-grown entrepreneurs locating in a historic rural community like Whitmire, and it becomes even more special. On behalf of County Council, we welcome Sea Pro Boats back and pledge to do all we can to help make the company successful." -Newberry County Council Chairman Henry H. Livingston, III

"Today's Sea Pro Boats announcement of $5.5 million in capital investment and 238 new jobs is a great win for the Central SC Region and for Newberry County. Congratulations to the citizens and stakeholders of this great community; we look forward to watching the company grow and succeed over the coming years." -Central SC Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan

FIVE FAST FACTS

  •  Sea Pro Boats is relaunching with the establishment of a new manufacturing facility in Newberry County.
  •  $5.5 million investment creating 238 new jobs.
  •  Sea Pro Boats was initially founded in the Midlands of South Carolina in 1987.
  •  Sea Pro's new 200,000-square-foot Newberry County facility will be located at 25214 Highway 121 in Whitmire.
  •  Those interested in joining the Sea Pro Boats team should contact SC Works.


About Sea Pro Boats
Initially founded in Blair, S.C. in 1987, Sea Pro Boats provides a professional line of bay boats and center console saltwater fishing boats. Sea Pro 'The Next Wave' is the resurrection of a renowned brand in the boating industry. For more information, visit www.seapromfg.com.

About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Volvo Cars, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. Commerce partners with the S.C Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. Consistently, South Carolina has ranked as one of the top states in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment, according to IBM-Plant Location International and FDI Markets reports. The state won the Gold Shovel Award and the Project of Year Award from Area Development magazine in 2012, 2014 and 2015. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

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