As it builds a new $30 million chemical plant in Killeen, MGC Pure Chemicals America will focus on recruiting its future employees from the Killeen area, according to company spokesman Scott Hancock.

While Fort Hood is the biggest employer in the Killeen area, soldiers get of the Army at Fort Hood on a daily basis. Many of them have a variety of technical skills, including experience working with chemicals.

“Having a quality workforce was one of the key points we looked at to make our decision to locate to Killeen,” Hancock said, adding that the newly designated Interstate 14 in Killeen was also a factor.

The Japan-based company selected Killeen as its next manufacturing plant location over potential locations in San Antonio, Bryan-College Station and Louisiana.

The plant will produce super-pure hydrogen peroxide, a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry for applications that require stripping, etching and cleaning silicon wafers, according to the Killeen Economic Development Corporation.

Semiconductors are used in various divisions of the technology industry, from defense and automotive to entertainment and communications. Killeen’s close proximity to Austin, an expanding hub of technology, was a key factor in the company’s decision to come here, officials said.

The local plant will take up 28 acres in the Killeen Business Park. Construction will begin in December, and it is expected to start production in 2019, Hancock said.

The average annual salary will be $66,000 per year, and 28 new jobs are expected to be created over the next five years at the Killeen location. Recruiting for the 28 jobs available will begin around September or October of 2018, according to Hancock.

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