Charles Composites, a division of Charles Industries, invested $3.85 million to establish a manufacturing facility in Okeechobee County, Florida, creating 28 new jobs to the region.
The company purchased a 40,000-square-foot facility on five acres ideally suited for the development and manufacturing of advance composite enclosures, Gov. Rick Scott’s Office said. The firm chose Okeechobee because of its proximity to major roadways, railways, major airports and ports such as Miami, Tampa, and Ft. Pierce.
As a strategic supply partner of Charles Industries, an Illinois-based manufacturing and technology company, Charles Composites will manufacture and distribute underground enclosures to large utility providers, telecommunication companies, wireless companies, and cable television companies.
“I am very excited to be able to open our advanced composite manufacturing center in Okeechobee, Florida. While my other business has manufacturing centers in the Midwest, the support from Governor Scott was instrumental in making the decision to locate in Florida,” said Joe Charles, President of Charles Composites. “The assistance from Okeechobee County leadership along with the community’s supporting infrastructure also played a critical role in my purchase of the property.”
Gov. Rick Scott said, “It is great news that we can celebrate 28 new jobs in the Okeechobee community. Florida’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 7.1 percent and we continue to create private sector jobs that are helping Florida families succeed. I am pleased Charles Industries has continued to invest in Florida and that is why I made it a priority to eliminate barriers on manufacturers this year – so employers like this could expand and invest in our state. This is a win for Florida families.”
In addition to removing unnecessary taxes on manufacturers, Florida’s strong workforce and top-ranked infrastructure make this the perfect state for manufacturers to locate and expand, the Governor said.
“The manufacturing industry in Florida is growing thanks to the competitive advantages our state can offer,” said Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope. “We’re thrilled that Mr. Charles has chosen Okeechobee as an ideal location for Charles Composites’ manufacturing operations.”
As part of the project, Workforce Florida, Inc. offered Charles Composites funding through the Quick Response Training grant program. The grants are structured to be flexible and “respond quickly” to meet the business’s training objectives. This is the first award of a QRT grant in Okeechobee County. The project was also made possible through partnerships with Okeechobee County, the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Economic Opportunity, Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida.