ELIZABETHTON — Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey announced a plastics company will be locating in the Watauga Industrial Park soon, with plans to immediately hire 30 employees.
Tom Anderson, president of Carter County Tomorrow, said the Highlands Group will locate in the former Smoky Mountain Books warehouse in the northeast end of the industrial park. Highlands produces high-grade plastic for the pharmaceutical industry and other industries through recycling.
According to the company’s Internet site, the Highlands Group has been well established in the plastics recycling industry since 1988. The company enjoys direct long-term relationships with major suppliers of a wide variety of plastics.
The corporate offices of the Highlands Group is in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Jeff Wade is the principal owner.
Anderson said Highlands will be a tenant in the 50,000-square-foot building that previously served as a book distribution warehouse. The building will be owned by Tittle Construction Co. of Johnson City.
“This is good news for Carter County,” Humphrey said in making the announcement Friday morning. There are several other companies that are interested in starting operations in Elizabethton, most notably a recycling operation that converts tires and other carbon-based solid waste into fuel, but Humphrey said those projects take time.
“This project happened pretty quickly,” Humphrey said. The talks with Carter County Tomorrow began in May and a deal was quickly worked out.
Humphrey said a more detailed informational announcement will be made later. The company currently has a production plant at 402 Steel St. in Johnson City. For more information on the Highlands Group, go to http://www.thgrecycling.com.