SSC North America to break ground for new facility in West Richland

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldMay 24, 2013 

The founder of SSC North America along with local officials and community leaders, will break ground Tuesday in West Richland on a new manufacturing facility for his company.

Ruth Swain, the city's community and economic development director, said final details of the project still are being nailed down and it's not immediately known when the facility will open.

The 11 a.m. event at the construction site near Belmont Boulevard and Keene Road will recognize years of coordination among Jerod Shelby, the city of West Richland and Mid-Columbia agencies.

"We're just honored to be working with Mr. Shelby," Swain said.

Shelby, a Tri-City native, founded his company in 1999. He began producing his Ultimate Aero at his shop in West Richland in 2007. That vehicle was verified as the world's fastest production car by Guinness World Records. His latest vehicle, the Tuatara, was unveiled in 2011. The cars sell for a premium price, with the Aero going for about $750,000.

The city and other partners, including Benton County, Port of Kennewick, Benton Rural Electric Association and the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund, have worked since 2010 to help Shelby get financing for the facility.

It will be built on city-owned land, and the project will be partially financed by a loan from the state's Community Economic Revitalization Board.

Initial reports indicated the facility could create an initial 54 jobs with a median hourly wage of $40 per hour.

"This new manufacturing facility in West Richland allows Mr. Shelby to locate all of his production facilities under one roof, while expanding his manufacturing capacity, as well as opening a showroom," according to a release.

Shelby plans to have one of his Aeros at the groundbreaking.

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