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Jax Daily Record Friday, May 18, 201805:00 AM EST

Rulon International to expand, hire 20 additional workers

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The St. Johns County Commission awards company that makes acoustic ceilings and wood wall panels $129,000 in incentives.

By Larry Hannan, Contributing Writer

A company that makes acoustic ceilings and wood wall panels will hire 20 more employees after the St. Johns County Commission unanimously approved a $129,000 economic incentive package that will allow it to expand.

Rulon International President and CEO Wayne Robison

The incentive package, approved Tuesday, will allow Rulon International to construct a 27,000-square-foot addition to its 85,000-square-foot office and manufacturing building at 2000 Ring Way in the World Commerce Center in St. Augustine.

The company moved from Pennsylvania to St. Johns County in 2006. President and CEO Wayne Robison said his company had between 60 and 70 employees when it arrived in St. Augustine and has seen significant growth during its time in Florida. 

“We expect to keep growing,” Robison told the county commissioners before the economic incentive package was approved.

The company employs 139 people in St. Johns County and will add 20 with the expansion, said Melissa Glasgow, director of economic development for St. Johns County.

Rulon International manufactures ceiling tiles and wall panels, like these inside the Las Vegas City Hall.

The average wage of those 20 employees will be $40,500, Glasgow said.

The project scored six points under the “existing industry” category of the county’s incentive program.

That makes Rulon eligible for expedited permitting and an economic development grant of up to 100 percent of fees paid to St. Johns County and four years of ad valorem taxes paid by Rulon on capital improvements and tangible personal property, Glasgow said.

After the economic incentive package was approved, Robison said he hoped to begin construction in June and conclude by the end of 2018. 

Glasgow said the first incentive payment would be anticipated in fiscal year 2020.

Rulon previously was based in the suburbs of Philadelphia with a plant in Georgia. It now has most of its operations in St. Augustine, except for the wood panels, which are made in Dayton, Ohio.

Robison said the company looked at four states when it was planning to move, and concluded that St. Augustine was the best fit because the leaders at Rulon liked the area and thought it would be a good place to do business and attract employees.

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