LIMESTONE (AP) – Two companies say they are ready to open a manufacturing and assembly plant in Limestone that will give 50 people jobs.

The Loring Development Authority and the Canadian-based Pattison Sign Group Inc. executed a lease agreement Monday to open a plant at the Loring Commerce Center.

The plant will design, make and assemble signs. Pattison is one of the world’s largest custom electric sign producers.

The LDA says it plans to renovate 80,000 square feet of facility space and operating systems at the commerce center. Pattison says it has recently secured contracts to justify the need for the Loring plant.

The plant was first proposed last December with a spring startup date, but technicalities pushed back the signing of the lease.

The business is expected to begin operations in late fall.

It is the company’s first plant in the United States. The company already has plants and offices in Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

Pattison makes signs for some of North America’s largest businesses, such as Esso, Labatt, Lexus, Ford, Via Rail Canada, Pepsi Co. and others.

The company chose the Loring site because of its proximity to a company plant in Edmundston, New Brunswick, about 30 miles away across the border from Madawaska, and the available work force in northern Maine.

The company has two manufacturing plants in Edmundston, where it employs more than 300 people. One of the plants, a multimillion-dollar facility, opened about one year ago.

All employees at Loring will be hired from northern Maine, according to company officials.

Pattison has seven manufacturing facilities and 23 sales offices in North America and Central America. The company’s two plants in Edmundston formerly were known as Imperial Signs.

AP-ES-09-04-03 0216EDT

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