Originally created 10/12/03

Employer spotlight



PRODUCT: Specialty fluorinated chemicals


LOCAL OPERATION: North Augusta plant produces inhalation anesthetics, pharmaceutical intermediates and fluorinated oils, greases and waxes.

LOCAL EMPLOYEES: 130 (approximate)

KEY EXECUTIVE: Dr. Robert Ehrenfeld, founder and president

HISTORY: Dr. Ehrenfeld was one of several Cornell University chemists who worked on the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government's top-secret operation that developed the atom bomb. His team developed the inert, flourine-based lubricants for the gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge, Tenn. The team commercialized the nonflammable lubricants in 1950, creating Halocarbon Products.

In 1982, the company began building its plant in North Augusta, which offered ample land for expansion and a skilled work force. By the late 1980s, the plant was responsible for all of the company's production. The facility has expanded operations several times since 1990, and more are planned.

RECENT NEWS: Halocarbon recently completed construction of its Semi-Works plant, allowing the company to do rapid testing, trials and preliminary manufacturing of new products.


Auto incentives

Automakers have used incentives for years to spur sales. A new consumer survey suggests consumers want incentives to be around long after the economy improves.

About 53 percent of people in a recent survey said they would not buy or lease a new vehicle without some sort of incentive. And 68 percent of participants said companies offering such incentives overcharge for their vehicles in the first place.

The August poll of 1,002 people by Maritz Inc., a St. Louis-based market researcher, also found that more than a third, 36 percent, had postponed a vehicle purchase because of financial concerns.


Staff skimping

People are the most important resource a company has. But many small businesses don't have a sound strategy for identifying and hiring the most qualified people.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives, a nonprofit volunteer business counseling organization, known as SCORE, can help business owners develop a policy-and-procedures manual that outlines responsibilities and duties for each position in your organization.

To find out more, call the Augusta SCORE office at 793-9998 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday to make an appointment.


Bowling records

Brunswick Corp., a global leader in the leisure products industry, was into a lot more than bowling.

At the turn of the 20th century, company president B.E. Bensinger - whose father was the son-in-law of company founder John Brunswick - led the business into wood and rubber products and even the record industry.

In fact, Al Jolson's hit Sonny Boy was recorded on a Brunswick label.


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