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      International brewing business brings new jobs to Horry County

      On Wednesday, the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation announced that an international manufacturing company has plans to expand its business to Horry County.

      The Canada-based company is called Accent Stainless Steel. It specializes in manufacturing brewing equipment and other stainless steel process equipment for the beverage industry and beyond.

      The company plans to invest $3.1 million to create 65 highly-skilled manufacturing jobs that would pay $22 per hour, on average.

      That hourly salary is 65 percent higher than the average wage in Horry County.

      Brad McQuhae is the president of the company.

      He told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that he plans to hire local. However, some skill sets are required in order for you to be a candidate for employment.

      "We are initially looking at people with some skill and experience in stainless steel and welding, stainless steel in fabrication," McQuhae said.

      There are several factors that ultimately drove McQuhae and his company to the Myrtle Beach area.

      One factor had to do with the welding program offered at Horry Georgetown Technical College.

      Last fall, the program expanded.

      According to HGTC President Neyle Wilson, 65 students are now enrolled.

      After these students graduate through the program, they will be able to take a test to become certified welders.

      "They came by and saw our shop, saw what we were doing with students and were impressed and could in fact train employees to help meet their needs," said Wilson.

      Ultimately, Wilson says if some of these welding students were hired to work at the new company, it would keep more highly-qualified professionals in the area.

      "They live here. They pay taxes here. They shop. They buy property, so they are part of the economy," Wilson added.

      However, the economic benefits of Accent Stainless Steel moving to Horry County don't stop there.

      Loris Commerce Center will be the site of the new 50,000 square foot facility.

      Loris Mayor David Stoudenmire said this new facility will help revitalize the area and businesses around it.

      "We've lost some long time businesses that have been there 20-30 years, because that turn down in the economy, and with new starts like this industry coming here, locate in our community because they know better times are coming," Stoudenmire said.

      The facility is expected to be open and operational by the end of 2014.

      Hiring will take place after that. The process will take around three-years to hire the 65 employees, according to McQuhae.

      This has been the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation's 12th industry announcement since January 2012.