FN Breaks Ground at Future Site of Second Production Facility
The $33-Million, 100,000-Square-Foot Facility will Create 176 New Jobs in Pickens County
(McLean, VA – October 19, 2023) Framed by a backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains, FN America, LLC broke ground on what will be the site of the company’s second production facility in South Carolina. This second facility, built upon FN’s solid foundation and history within the state, will be located within the Pickens County Commerce Park in Liberty, South Carolina.
Mark Cherpes, President and CEO of FN America, commemorated the event alongside Julien Compère, Chief Executive Officer of the Herstal Group and FN Herstal, Gov. Henry McMaster, Chairman Chris Bowers of the Pickens County Council and Ray Farley of Alliance Pickens Economic Development. In attendance were colleagues, future neighbors of the new FN facility and members of the Pickens community.
“This was a historic day for FN. More than 40 years ago, FN opened operations in Columbia to fulfill a government contract for the U.S. Army. Since that day, FN’s business has grown tremendously, and we have forged unbreakable bonds within the state of South Carolina,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO for FN America, LLC. “Pickens County is a great ally to the manufacturing community and one we have had ties to for many years through our ongoing partnership with their Career and Technology Center’s Machine Tool students. That partnership has helped to develop our future workforce in the community and will be of great importance as we embark upon this expansion to better meet the needs of our customers.”
In attendance at the groundbreaking were several of the students and instructors from the Pickens County Career and Technology Center. For many years, FN America has worked closely with the school through a work-based learning partnership that engages the school’s highly skilled machine and tool students to give them real-world experience as they pursue a career path in manufacturing.
“Our connection to FN goes back many years with the work-based learning partnership established with the students of our Career and Technology Center. This partnership is representative of one of the many ways in which Pickens County invests to develop tomorrow’s workforce through today’s students, and positions itself as a partner to the manufacturing sector,” said Ray Farley, Executive Director for Alliance Pickens economic development. “We are delighted to welcome FN as a permanent fixture in our community with this future facility.”
The company will invest $33 million to construct the future 100,000-square-foot facility over two phases beginning in April 2024 and will create 176 new jobs for the Pickens community. With state-of-the-art equipment and construction, FN’s second facility will expand the company’s manufacturing footprint and allow it to meet the demand of its military, law enforcement and consumer markets.
The company was originally established in the United States in 1979 and opened its doors in 1981 to produce the M240 medium machine gun, a variant of the FN MAG-58, under contract to the U.S. Army. For more than 40 years, the company’s primary production facility has been located in Richland County, South Carolina and has produced more than 1 million small arms under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Today, FN America employs more than 600 individuals to produce firearms, accessories and other adjacent products for the U.S. military, law enforcement agencies as well as consumers. The company has produced the M4A1, M16A4, M249 light machine gun, M240 medium machine gun and FN SCAR under contract for the U.S. military as well as it’s FN 509 striker-fired pistol line used by U.S. law enforcement agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department.