Survival Innovations LLC, designer and manufacturer of life-saving restraint and safety systems for military defense and commercial aviation industries, has announced plans to expand its manufacturing operations into Brevard.
Monday the company shared its plans to rehabilitate the vacant Tucker Creek Products industrial building on Cashiers Valley Road to accommodate a new machining operation shop and at least 11 new jobs near downtown Brevard by 2025.
This expansion will enable Survival Innovations to open a new machining center to manufacture products such as helicopter seat cushions, aircrew restraint systems, aviation safety harnesses and other military-grade safety equipment.
“We’ve expanded in Mills River to the point that we cannot expand anymore,” said Survival Innovations co-founder Mark Trexler. “Now we’re looking to expand into Transylvania County.”
“If you’ve been by 21 Cashiers Valley Road it looks kind of dormant and not very attractive,” said co-founder Jason Smith. “We recognize all the work the city is putting in with the community center and townhouses across the street and we want to complement that.”
Survival Innovations has already made thousands of dollars in electrical and physical upgrades to the former fabricated metals production site. Based on the company’s plans to invest $600,000 in building renovations and new equipment in addition to adding employees as part of the expansion, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners Monday unanimously approved awarding Survival Innovations $7,509.89 as part of an economic development performance-based incentive grant over the next four years.
“I’ve had the privilege of touring their facility before and they make amazing products,” said Commissioner Jason Chappell Monday night.
The average annual wage proposed for the 11 new employees is $41,545, a salary which exceeds the current $39,028 average for full-time employment in Transylvania County.
“I see that as a win-win,” said Commissioner David Guice. “Having a company at that location, especially one that is doing the work that they are doing, means a great deal to me personally. It is a real feather in our cap as it relates to being supportive of a business incentive that’s going to bring some jobs to this community.”
Survival Innovations’s renovation of the property off Cashiers Valley Road was supported by a building reuse grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce along with matching funds from Transylvania County.
“This is an excellent example of how facilitating small business grown as a community leads to sustained, long-term job creation,” explained Amber Webb, chair of the Transylvania Economic Alliance, in a news release on the project.
“This is a great company with community-focused leadership and a mission and culture that everyone can be proud of,” added Brevard Mayor Maureen Copelof. “The city is excited to be a partner and ally in helping to facilitate high-quality manufacturing employment like this.”