SOLON, OH (WOIO) - It's one of those rare situations where one corporation moves out, but within a short time, a new one moves in.
In 2012, the French cosmetic company L'Oreal announced it was closing its Solon manufacturing plant. At the time, they laid off 260 employees. At its peak, the company employed around 1,400.
On Tuesday, there was a ribbon cutting on that same plant. But this was not an ordinary ribbon cutting, COSMAX is a South Korean company that decided it needed a North American headquarters, so it chose Solon.
"When a reputable company, such as COSMAX, chooses this facility to break into the U.S. market, not only is this great news for Solon, but
for the state of Ohio, as well," Solon Mayor Susan Drucker told a crowd, which included COSMAX executives from South Korea.
COSMAX is the fifth leading producer of cosmetic supplies in the world. You may not have ever heard of them, but that may be because the products they make go on to be sold under the top named brands globally.
What will start as powder in the Solon plant will become items like lipstick, blush and eye shadow. The products will then be sold to consumers in major department stores under different names.
The company spent more than $28 million updating the old L'Oreal facilities to meet its needs.
"We are very proud of being here in Solon, since we can get great support from city hall and the local community," said COSMAX USA CEO Sok-Min Yu.
That support does come with a small price tag. The city of Solon gave a job creation grant of $375,000 spread over eight years, to help hire the 200 employees.
"We are very happy recruit a lot of local talent, which I believe one of the best team in this industry," said Yu.
The plant is massive and has plenty of room for expansion. As it stands now, it will produce more than 100 million units annually.