Sharpie is putting a permanent mark on Atlanta.
The pen maker, a division of product giant Newell Rubbermaid, is moving its headquarters to the metro area by the end of the year and bringing with it more than 60 jobs, Newell is expected to announce Tuesday.
Sharpie will be the fifth Newell brand to move to metro Atlanta since Newell built its new 14-floor corporate base in Sandy Springs in 2008. Newell moved Calphalon, Levolor, Dymo and Graco to its headquarters between 2008 and 2010.
The news comes amid a summer uptick in the jobless rate in metro Atlanta and Georgia. The metro rate jumped to 8.9 percent in June while the state rate was 8.8 percent in July.
It also follows layoffs at Newell last year and the sale earlier this month of a portion of the company’s hardware business, including paint products maker Shur-line.
“What we’re doing is bringing all our consumer facing brands together in Atlanta, all the marketing activities associated with any of our consumer facing brands,” Michael Polk, Newell’s president and chief executive officer, said. “So (that includes) our writing business, our consumer products business which includes Rubbermaid, Goody and Calphalon.”
Mercer University economist Roger Tutterow said the number of jobs involved is modest but that the company’s overall growth here has been strong.
“Anything that further enforces their presence here in Atlanta is good news,” he said.
Newell has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentives from Georgia’s Regional Economic Business Assistance program or REBA, which is designed to help lure jobs to the state. The company promised to create more than 300 jobs, but tripled that amount and now says it has more than 1,000 employees here.
Newell spokeswoman Connie Bryant said the company received no incentives in the Sharpie move.
Sharpie is moving from Oak Brook, Ill., and will offer current employees a post in Atlanta or a severance package, Bryant said. About 180 employees will remain in an Oak Brook office working on writing brands including Paper Mate, Sharpie and Expo.
Polk said the Sharpie brand has strong potential both domestically and internationally. The company sees a base of untapped customers in Latin America and Asia and expects the recent introduction of metallic and neon markers to give fans more reasons to add to their collections.
Moving the brand to Atlanta allows the company to work more cohesively to drive those sales, he said.
“It’s much easier to have all of your marketers in one place,” he said. “It makes sense to have that core of our company based in our corporate headquarters so we can create a community of practice.”