State grants in North Carolina help fund new industries, expand existing ones

State grants in North Carolina help fund new industries, expand existing ones

April 22, 2022 0 By Victor Skinner

North Carolina furniture manufacturer Vanguard Furniture Company is planning to invest $5.9 million to expand operations to Morganton.

The expansion was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of $250,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs.

Gov. Roy Cooper touted the company’s expansion in Burke County on Wednesday, highlighting the addition of 100 new jobs and overall impact to the region.

“North Carolina continues to be the global leader for furniture manufacturing,” Cooper said. “Vanguard’s decision to expand in our state affirms that our quality of life and skilled workforce can provide a thriving business climate that brings success.”

Companies must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment under the program, and local governments are required to match participation, according to a Cooper statement.

“When growing companies expand in North Carolina, it sends a strong signal to other companies that our state is the best place to do business,” said state Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke. “We are grateful for Vanguard’s increased investment which is a win for our community and the entire state.”

Vanguard, headquartered in Conover, is a family-held company employing 680 at seven manufacturing facilities in Conover and Hillsville, Virginia and showrooms in High Point and Las Vegas.

The expansion to Morganton will mark the company’s eighth manufacturing facility focused on case goods, finishing, and upholstery manufacturing with warehouse and distribution operations.

“With the largest furniture manufacturing industry and workforce in the United States, North Carolina is a confident choice for Vanguard,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “When we combine being first in furniture with being first in talent, North Carolina will continue to maintain its reputation as the furniture capital of the world.”

Salaries for the new jobs vary but will average $42,536 annually, or about $3,000 above the average annual salary in Burke County of $39,499. Officials estimate the new jobs could create an annual payroll impact of more than $4.2 million for the region.

“We are excited to welcome Vanguard and these new jobs to Burke County,” said state Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke. “Our skilled workforce and furniture making legacy will support the company’s growth strategy to meet the increased demand of the home furnishings industry.”

The Vanguard expansion comes about a week after Cooper touted 37 new jobs created through an expansion of building products manufacturer CertainTeed in Granville County.

CertainTeed plans to invest $118.8 million to expand its roofing shingle manufacturing facility in Oxford, a move motivated by a $125,000 performance-based grant through the One North Carolina Fund.

The average annual salary for the new CertainTeed positions is $66,930, well over Granville County’s overall average annual wage of $45,096. Officials estimate an annual payroll impact from the expansion of more than $2.4 million.

“This historic investment, made possible with support from the State of North Carolina, will create new jobs and allow our company to support our customers with more of the industry-leading roofing materials that our team has been making in Granville County since 1978,” said Mark Rayfield, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain North America and CertainTeed. “We thank the community for their continued support, and we look forward to many more years of state-of-the-art manufacturing in Oxford.”

This article was originally posted on State grants in North Carolina help fund new industries, expand existing ones