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Legacy Electronics Inc., which makes memory boards for computers, has moved its headquarters from San Clemente to South Dakota.
The move had been expected since February when the company announced it was establishing new sales and administrative offices in Sioux Falls and expanding its electronics manufacturing operations there.
The company’s local offices, which employ about 50, are set to close when its lease expires.
President and Chief Executive Jason Engle earlier this year relocated to South Dakota with his family.
Legacy recently began production in a 40,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in nearby Canton, doubling the space it had in San Clemente and providing more room for growth.
The company has begun hiring various manufacturing personnel, including quality inspectors and test and rework technicians, Engle said.
The privately held company, which started in 1993, is hiring upwards of 50 workers there.
“Both former Gov. Mike Rounds and now Gov. (Dennis) Daugaard have dedicated the people and the resources to show entrepreneurs, employers and hard-working employees that they are appreciated in South Dakota,” Engle said.
The company’s exodus casts another cloud over the county’s shrinking manufacturing base.
Since the onset of the recession in late 2007, that sector has lost nearly 30,000 local jobs.
It employed about 151,000 people in August, up less than 1% from a year ago and down more than 16% from 2007, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.
Manufacturing in the county comprises of a mix of automakers, software companies, computer products makers, apparel makers and medical device makers with old-line manufacturers, such as metal fabricators and tool-and-die makers.
Legacy picked South Dakota for its “beneficial tax structure and availability of manufacturing sites,” according to Engle.
South Dakota’s lower energy costs were “a major factor” in the company’s decision to move there.
Legacy designs and produces memory modules—which are circuit boards loaded with memory chips—and other specialized circuit boards for computer makers.
It is one of a cluster of local memory module makers, including Kingston Technology Co. in Fountain Valley and Foothill Ranch-based Viking Modular Solutions Inc., part of San Jose’s Sanmina-SCI Corp.
Northern California’s Smart Modular Technologies Inc. is also a rival.