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      BauschLinnemann open for business in Myrtle Beach

      A new manufacturer, BauschLinnemann North America, Inc., is up and running in Myrtle Beach and it brought about 50 new jobs with it.

      BauschLinnemann manufactures wood laminate surfaces and edgings for the woodworking industry.

      The company held a grand opening Monday for its new 75,000 square foot Myrtle Beach plant. BauschLinnemann is a subsidiary of the German company Surteco.

      Company officials decided to move to the Grand Strand from Greensboro, North Carolina after acquiring an existing Myrtle Beach paper products company.

      "We found the people here really willing to work and it's just been a good experience," said BauschLinnemann CEO Mike Phillips.

      BauschLinnemann has committed to creating 55 jobs in Myrtle Beach over 5 years.

      Phillips says most of the positions have already been filled.

      "We have 43 people that are full time at this point and we have about seven temporary help that will be converted to full time after we finish closing the Greensboro facility."

      Phillips says from Myrtle Beach, BauschLinnemann products can be shipped through the port of Charleston to customers all over North America.

      What especially pleases local economic development officials is that the plant isn't just another manufacturing facility. It's BauschLinnemann's North American headquarters.

      "Not only are we creating manufacturing jobs, but also jobs in marketing and sales and PR and administration, and those tend to drive the overall average wage up," said Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. CEO Brad Lofton.

      With its big facility right next to Myrtle Beach International Airport, Lofton says BauschLinnemann makes a statement for this area.

      "This new facility is going to show well to other prospects that are looking at our community. The fact that we were able to recruit them gives us some credibility as we're talking to other manufacturers, and beyond that, these guys are great ambassadors."

      The company has plans and plenty of land to be able to expand the plant to 200,000 square feet, though Phillips says there's no timeline for that.