Congratulations to Mine Safety Appliances on the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for an $11.5 million investment into modernizing the existing plant and the construction of its new 85,000 square foot Jacksonville warehousing facility!

This Wednesday MSA was joined by the local community for a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony in its new state of the art warehousing facility. In 1979, Mine Safety Appliance chose Jacksonville due to its location and workforce.  MSA has been one of Onslow County’s longest serving employers, currently employing over 150 employee associates. The Jacksonville MSA facility produces respiratory and fall protection products as well as MSA Cairns fire helmets. This famous photo was taken at Ground Zero after 9/11, showing President George W. Bush with a fireman wearing an MSA Cairns fire helmet and a respirator manufactured in the Jacksonville, NC facility.

The event’s attendees included employees (some of whom have been employed there since the facility opened), corporate officials, and an address by Kenny Flowers, NC Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Rural Development.

Speaking on behalf of Governor Roy Cooper and Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, Mr. Flowers congratulated MSA on 42 years in Jacksonville and recognized the importance of their investment in rural North Carolina. He emphasized the necessity of relationships in rural areas in creating long-term economic development impacts. North Carolina is the top manufacturing state in the US, and investments like these will continue to grow our region.

MSA has a remarkable history: John T. Ryan Sr. and George H. Deike were horrified by a 1912 mine explosion in West Virginia, that killed 80 miners. Two years later, after enlisting the help of Thomas Edison, the men had designed safety lamps that would decrease fatalities from mine explosions by 75% over the next 25 years. Living up to its name, The Safety Company, MSA expanded its product lines over the years to meet the changing needs of industry. Thirteen product categories serve these industries: construction, fire service, general industry, mining, oil and gas, utilities, government, and healthcare. View the timeline of product development here.

The COVID pandemic created opportunities for MSA to advocate for protecting the nation’s supplies of personal protection equipment. Stephanie L. Sciullo, MSA’s Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility & Public Affairs outlined the company’s recent efforts:

 “We are one of several American manufacturing companies that make reusable, elastomeric respirators.  This type of respirator is certified by NIOSH, recommended by the CDC, and currently authorized by the FDA for use against COVID-19 in healthcare settings.  Last year, we advocated for this class of respirators to be included in the Strategic National Stockpile.  Research shows they are cost effective and durable for long term stockpiling, and they offer a hedge against unexpected supply chain shortages.  Working alongside N95s, reusable respirators will play an important role in strengthening the nation’s future emergency preparedness.”

She added that the respirators made at MSA Jacksonville last year helped numerous healthcare workers avoid concerns about not having enough respiratory protection equipment, and that this effort created and sustained jobs in Onslow County.  Sam King, MSA Jacksonville’s Production Manager noted the hard work and dedication of MSA’s production associates throughout the pandemic.