MAXTON — A Japanese manufacturing company will expand its Laurinburg operation into a $57 million facility in Maxton, according to a statement from Gov. Beverly Perdue.
FCC North Carolina’s new plant, located at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, will bring 66 jobs. The company’s 110,000-square-foot Laurinburg plant, at 18000 Fieldcrest Road, will remain open. It employed 145 people as of March 2011, according to the company’s website.
“My top priority is creating jobs,” Perdue said. “Manufacturers know our job training programs are world-class and that our highly-skilled workers and top-notch business climate help them to thrive in a globally competitive market.”
Robeson County and Scotland County each have an unemployment rate among the highest in the state.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual payroll for the new jobs will be more than $1.8 million, plus benefits. That works out to about $27,000 for each of the 66 new jobs.
FCC North Carolina is owned by FCC North America Inc., which is owned by FCC Co. Ltd. of Japan. FCC North Carolina makes ATV clutches, ATV differential components, automotive transmission components and automotive differential components.
Jo Ann Gentry, interim manager at the airport, said that the company is a “wonderful” addition to the airport. It is being housed in a shell building owned by Scotland County and on land owned by the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport.
Gentry said that the local community will benefit from revenue the company pays for water and for the treatment of its waste water.
One of the reasons the airport site was selected for the company’s expansion, Gentry said, is that raw water is available to serve the facility. Gentry said the site’s well water was tested in Japan to ensure it is the quality needed to produce a paper that surrounds clutches.
“The company wants no chemicals in the water used to manufacture this paper,” Gentry said. “The paper now being used at the Laurinburg plant has to transported from Japan.”
Maxton Commissioner James McDougald, who was a member of the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport Commission when the company was working toward expanding to Maxton, called the new plant in Maxton a “good thing.”
“We have people in Maxton who already work at the Laurinburg plant,” he said. “Now they won’t have to ride up the road five miles to get to work.”
The project was made possible in part by a $264,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
“I am very pleased that FCC is expanding …,”Rep. Garland Pierce, who represents parts of Robeson and Scotland counties. “Our business-friendly climate and workforce development programs have help them succeed here.”