The Carolinas are getting their groove back.
Uniquetex, a joint venture between two Chinese manufacturers, on Thursday announced plans to invest $31.6 million in its first ever U.S. production facility, located in Grover, North Carolina. In addition, the company said it intends to bring 150 jobs to the area over the next five years.
“Textile manufacturing is one of North Carolina’s greatest traditional industries and it is still growing,” North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said in a press release. “Our state is the ideal destination for globally-positioned, innovation-driven textile companies like Uniquetex.”
Uniquetex manufactures nonwoven fabrics for use by medical and healthcare providers, among others. It comprises Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., one of China’s largest nonwoven textile businesses, and Wenzhou Chaolong Textile Machinery Co., a developer of equipment and technologies for nonwoven manufacturing.
“Uniquetex’s selection of Cleveland County highlights all the reasons North Carolina leads the Southeast in manufacturing employment,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary John Skvarla continued. “I am confident that our state’s productive workforce, competitive costs and ready access to global markets will strongly support the company’s ambitious growth strategy.”
According to a statement, the project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $800,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance through local governments to attract business that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to quality for grant funds.
To that end, Uniquetex will hire 150 workers at its U.S. facility for positions spanning machine operators and technicians to customer service representatives and more. Salaries will average $36,313 per year.
“We are extremely excited to start up our first U.S. operations in Cleveland County, North Carolina. The combination of a skilled workforce, access for quality transportation infrastructure and the pro-business attitude of the community is what attracted us here,” Benny Deng, president and chief executive officer of Uniquetex, said.