Greater Pee Dee Business Journal November/December 2011 : Page 36

Florence Welcomes Otis Elevator BY CHRIS WORTHY PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRED SALLEY W ith a substantial invest-ment by Otis Elevator in Florence County, the future is looking up. Otis Elevator is the world’s larg-est manufacturer of people moving products and an icon known around the globe. The Florence facility, to be located on the former Maytag site, will bring at least 360 jobs to the area and put the Pee Dee on the leading edge of green manufacturing. Randy Wilcox, president of Otis North and South America, says Flor-ence offered a prime location, a ready workforce and a business-friendly climate. “That was very, very important to us,” Wilcox says. “We wanted a pro-business location. The facility that was existing in Florence met our needs and Florence has the workforce we need.” Wilcox says logistical costs saved by the Florence location were also part of the decision. “Locating in a place that is central to our customers is important,” he says. Joe King, executive director of the Florence County Economic Develop-ment Partnership, says the Otis site will have an economic ripple effect. “It’s a great win for Florence County, the Pee Dee region and the state,” King says. “They have committed 360 jobs at this point. They are high-paying jobs. High-paying jobs raise the standard of living for everybody. It’s a multiplier effect those jobs bring to the community.” The new Otis facility will bring the company’s operations – including engi-neering, manufacturing, logistics and field support, which are now located in four cities throughout North America – together in one location. “We’re bringing together groups that 36 | GREATERPEEDEEBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011

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