DAVIDSON – MSC Industrial Supply Company is officially part of the Lake Norman region.

MSC, one of the nation’s leading distributors of Metalworking and Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) solutions, services and supplies, celebrated the grand opening Sept. 24 of its Davidson co-headquarters.

The six-story, 180,000 square-foot building off Harbour Place Drive is expected to bring 400 jobs to the region by 2017. The building also has space to hold an additional 350 employees. It’ll be one of two headquarters offices for the company, which was founded in 1941 by Sidney Jacobson in New York’s “Little Italy” neighborhood.

MSC has grown into a $2.7 billion industry that offers more than one million industrial products. Its arrival in Davidson came just 461 days after MSC announced it would build an office in the region.

MSC CEO Erik Gershwind said he was impressed with the region from the moment he arrived.

“It’s spectacular. When we looked at this project, to open a second corporate headquarters, (Executive Vice President Doug Jones) was in charge of the project,” Gershwind said. “The first step we took was, ‘Let’s pretend we have a white board and could locate the company anywhere we wanted, where would we pick?’ We had a number of factors to base our decision on. The greater Charlotte area was the top choice in the country. Doug selected the site and town. I had high expectations upon my first visit, and my expectations were exceeded in terms of the environment and access to talented people.”

Hundreds of business dignitaries from the region, as well as Davidson Mayor John Woods, Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain and Cornelius Mayor Lynette Rinker, attended the ribbon cutting.

“We’re delighted to have MSC here and to know they share common values with our town and our citizens,” Woods said. “We want this to be known as a great community to live in and to do work. We look forward to a great future together.”

More than 125 employees moved from New York to Davidson in four waves throughout August, according to Jones. MSC has already hired 25 employees from the area and will continue hiring throughout the year.

Jones said MSC’s Davidson co-headquarters will play a major role in the company’s success.

“We do expect this to be, for our support functions, this will be the center of gravity,” Jones said. “New York is going to maintain its presence and be an important part of the company, but more and more, the growth will be absorbed here in Davidson. We’re recruiting from across the board. That’s one thing our management is raving about. The quality of applicants has been tremendous.”

MSC has already developed relationships with multiple local businesses, including Huntersville-based NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Joe Gibbs Racing. Many companies use MSC’s technologically advanced vending machines, which provide parts, equipment and safety accessories to customers. The vending machines, Jones said, offer customers important items ranging in cost from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars or more.

The company is seeking headquarters-type jobs for its Davidson office, including supply chain and information technology jobs.

Gershwind said MSC’s Davidson opening represents a watershed moment in the company’s history.

“We can track the history of the company with certain milestones, and this is really one of the milestones that signifies the growth of the company,” Gershwind said. “It sets us up for the next several years. We’re really excited. You can tell there’s a sense of (importance) for us. We aren’t just opening a building.”

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