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Brunswick County Aviation, Aerospace Manufacturer Eyes Expansion

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 22, 2020
A state grant has been awarded to a Brunswick County manufacturer in the aviation and aerospace business, to help the firm expand and create more than a dozen local jobs, according to a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper's office.

The N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved a $100,000 grant to support development at the HSM Machine Works site, 2613 Mt. Misery Road. The funding falls under the state's Economic Infrastructure program.

The firm, which manufactures landing gear for the aviation and aerospace industry, plans to create 17 jobs and invest $150,000, stated the release.

HSM Machine Works employs about 18 people locally. The business makes parts in Brunswick County and sends them to a New York-based operation, Blair-HSM, for assembly and finishing, said Jim Flock, general manager of HSM Machine Works.

Flock said that hiring would take place over the next few years.

"The grant basically allows us to up our workforce, bring in more people ... so with the grant, we are going to use that as a starting point to expand our facilities and our operations," Flock said, adding that the current sewage infrastructure limits the company on the number of people it can have working at the building at one time.

"The infrastructure improvements are set to include the construction of four manholes and 8-inch bore and jack across the roadway to provide public wastewater to a building occupied by HSM Machine Works," officials said in the release about the grant.

HSM Machine Works was established in the early 1970s and has been in the Cape Fear area since 1991, Flock said. The firm was at a temporary site in Wilmington for about a year before moving to its current location in 1992, he added.

HSM and Blair Industries merged in the late '90s.

Blair-HSM was acquired by Italy-based MAGroup in 2018, "with the objective to establish a firm basis for growth in the major aerospace market of the world," according to the group website. 

"Really we're just in the planning stages right now. We have a couple of things in the works ... that are going to necessitate expanding our facility and increasing staff," Flock said. "We are going to be enhancing our capabilities with new machining, maybe even some new technology, but it will all still be along the same business line."
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