Masonite International Corp. announced that it is planning to invest $14 million in a next-generation automated interior door production line and infrastructure at its Denmark, S.C., plant in Bamberg County. And with the help of a state program the company will have help in training future workers.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce and Bamberg County partnered with Masonite to provide a grant from the state’s Regional Infrastructure Fund, as well as other pro-business incentives to expand operations in the Denmark facility.

Through the state’s readySC™ workforce training program, a division of the SC Technical College System, Denmark Technical College is developing a curriculum to train current and future employees of the Denmark facility. The company expects to employ up to 200 within the next five years, when the new technology is fully installed.

“South Carolina’s Department of Commerce offered economic development solutions that were win-win,” says Fred Lynch, Masonite’s president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to investing in innovative manufacturing and product technologies that will enhance our competitive edge, and we want to make those investments in communities where we have cooperative relationships with regional and local government.”

Masonite acquired the plant in October, 2010 from Lifetime Doors Inc. The Denmark facility manufactures residential interior doors for its Southeast customers, including the Florida market.

“Investing in our Denmark facility made sense on so many levels, beginning with the great local workforce,” says Glen Coulter, executive vice president of global operations and supply chain. “It’s also conveniently located near several major interstates, near major customers, and our company’s Yulee, Fla. door fabrication plant that pre-hangs doors for our Southeast retail customers.”

The company is in the planning and engineering phase of the production line, and the new system is expected to be operational by early 2013. This is subject to finalizing definitive agreements with the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development and Bamberg County, S.C., according to Masonite.

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