Aerospace Supplier Solar Atmospheres on the UpstateJuly 26, 2018
Steve Prout was first introduced to the Upstate SC Alliance through the South Carolina Department of Commerce, when his company was looking to add a facility within the Southeast.
The company, Solar Atmospheres, a vacuum heat-treating company that processes materials from titanium to nickel super-alloys to stainless steels, primarily serves the aerospace industry with customers ranging from Boeing in Charleston to clients as far as Arkansas and Louisiana.
In 2014, Greenville Area Development Corporation announced the company’s $15 million investment in a 54,000-square-foot building along Interstate 85 in Greenville. The company has created 14 jobs, and its growth projections show potential to create another three to four jobs in 2018.
“As we started looking at sites in the Upstate and touring different facilities, the Upstate SC Alliance connected us with different general contractors,” as well as companies like Allen Tate Corporate Relocation Services to help “relocate employees, introduce them to the Upstate, and get them familiar” with the area, says the President of Solar Atmospheres Southeast Division. They were also in search of available electricity and appreciated the connection to Duke Energy.
Prout says these key relationships were “really integral for us as we decided where we wanted to be. Folks here helped us find the facility, told us they believed it was a good fit—and they were right. That was one of the big drivers of Solar coming to South Carolina.”
More than being an “extra set of eyes” and “an extra salesperson” working on behalf of his business, the Upstate SC Alliance allowed Prout to feel “truly dialed in to what we needed to be successful.”
“As a company, we only succeed when we connect with what our customers’ needs are, and we provide value and solutions for them, and I felt like the Upstate Alliance was doing that for us,” he says. “They paid attention to what it was we said we needed, they took it seriously, and they found solutions.”
Prout recalls one looming question as Solar Atmospheres finalized its site selection: “What does the Upstate have to offer for families—weekend activities, restaurants, cultural experiences?”
He’s been more than satisfied with the answers.
“One of the things we’ve been most happy with has been the quality of life for our people. Every person I’ve located to this area loves it,” he says. “It’s just a great community to be a part of. My employees can live in the country, downtown, in the suburbs. There’s something for everyone in the Upstate, and it’s growing.”
Prout sees a promising future for Solar Atmospheres in this region. “As the Upstate grows, businesses in this area prosper, continue to recruit, and bring new business here, so we all have more opportunity.”
TOPICS: Quality of Life, #TeamUpstate, Existing Industry, Global Competitiveness, International, Business Recruitment, Aerospace, Materials