By Rachel Hall
Cleveland Mayor Richard Boyett, Councilmembers Marilyn Clay and Fred Terrell, and EDC Director Robert Reynolds were welcomed to tour Sharp International Services owned by Chase Herell and Trent Staggers to learn more about how the company is growing and adding jobs to the local economy at the 165-acre warehouse facility based on the property that once housed the Georgia Pacific plant located on FM 787 outside of Cleveland city limits.
“The draw to purchase this facility is that we saw the ability to bring something to this area to revive what it once was, but we also saw the potential for it to grow into something bigger as well,” explained Herell.
In less than two years since purchasing the site and leasing the surrounding 1,500 acres, Herell and Staggers have increased the number of employees from one to nearly two dozen with additional employment opportunities currently being added in the coming weeks and months.
“We are looking to hire people who are interested in chemistry or lab work. We have a good mix of positions from chemists working onsite to trained operators,” said Vice-President of Operations Eric Honeycutt.
The increased need for employees is coupled with the company’s growth and recent expansion into the manufacturing of hand sanitizer as well as projects aligned to Sharp International’s business services offered including warehousing, toll manufacturing, transloading, and packaging.
“We do the storage for other companies, but we also do blending where we manufacture chemicals,” said Honeycutt. “These are companies that need good dry good storage and logistics. For instance, we can take them off of rail car and unload them here; store them here for a season; and, then load them onto box trucks to go out to the customer.”
The onsite manufacturing of hand sanitizer is completed with strict adherence to pharmaceutical regulations and then sent to bottling companies or donated to organizations such as local hospitals, fire departments, police departments and other community groups who are in need.
“We focus on customer service,” said Honeycutt. “We have our core values including 1 or 1,000 and we take that to mean we will do any size job. There are a lot of small companies that sometimes had trouble finding vendors that would help them because their jobs were too small but you have to start somewhere. It is one of our core values to help any size business get started and hope we can help them to grow and be partners.”
Herell discussed with the tour group how Sharp International Services plans to become more diversified over the next 10 years to include dealings with painting and coatings, agriculture in a bigger way than now, automotives, and a personal care line currently being researched to potentially begin production.
“I can tell you physically where we will be in 10 years is still here and with three or four hundred people working here and this entire site occupied in addition to moving these fences back even further,” said Herell.
For more information or to apply for a career opportunity, visit sharpinternational.com.