By Stan Welch
County, state, federal and company officials were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Chomarat North America’s third Anderson county facility last week. The facility is located in the Alliance Industrial Park , within sight of the Walgreen’s facility.
Chomarat is a French company with multiple locations across the globe, but it has clearly made a strong commitment to the Anderson area; a commitment just as strongly reciprocated by the County Council and the economic development department.
Florent Troubet, company president, offered some history of the company. Chomarat is a company with more than a century of experience in the textile, and more recently advanced materials industries. Founded in the Lyons France district one hundred sixteen years ago, Chomarat first worked with silk. Today, it is a leading innovator in reinforced composite materials, used in everything from Louis Vitton luggage to the interiors of space craft.
The company first located here in 1986 and now has three facilities, engaged in various aspects of the company’s varied production efforts. The president of the North American division, Brian Laufenberg, said at the ceremony that Anderson County, with its strong textile tradition, and the County’s strong pro-business attitude, is a wonderful place for the company to expand.
“This area is a great fit for us, although, being in the South, we hear some very interesting pronunciations of our name,” he said, drawing a loud laugh from the crowd of approximately 150 in attendance. “My favorite is Cromart.” (Shomurah is phonetically acceptable.)
Company group manager Michel Cognet, proudly explained that the company made a conscious decision to move aggressively into the reinforced composite materials field, and working with some of the industries leading innovators and pioneers, had made extraordinary strides in just a few years. “We were born to innovate, and our results at Chomarat are the talk of the town in the industry,’ said Cognet.
Representatives from both Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott were on hand, as well as from Congressman Jeff Duncan’s office. A representative of Governor Haley read a letter of welcome, and several County Council members attended as well.
District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson promised the company’s executives that they can expect a “world class attitude towards business as well as a generous helping of good old Southern hospitality. We are proud to have you in Anderson County as a well established corporate neighbor, as well as a new presence in District Seven.”
The new facility was an existing site which has undergone a ten million dollar upgrade, creating twenty jobs.