2019 Year in Review: 38 Economic Development Wins for North Carolina

by Jessica Ambrose, on 1/2/20 11:15 AM

shutterstock_736287460 (1)

Happy New Year, Currituck County! As we leave the holiday season and get back to the grind of our daily lives, let us take a moment to look ahead at what 2020 promises to bring. With a years' long climb upwards in terms of economic development, North Carolina is only getting better with age. Which means we're attracting some exciting businesses into the Tarheel State, bringing in over 10,000 new jobs.

With everything from industry giants, like Microsoft and Chewy, to agriculture and artistry, North Carolina has an exciting year coming up. This list of 38 new projects is just a taste of what the future has in store.

1. Design Foundry, LLC

PROJECT: New furniture manufacturing facility
LOCATION: Catawba County
INVESTMENT: $3.1 million
202 (over 5 years)
MORE INFO: "Design Foundry will manufacture upholstered furniture in partnership with a major furniture and home goods retailer. The company will emphasize the strong tradition of handmade furniture combined with technology in manufacturing to create new methods of manufacturing through supplier partnerships and internal research and development." - Full Press Release / January 8, 2019

2. Aetna

PROJECT: Upgrade facilities and equipment
LOCATION: High Point
INVESTMENT: $2.5 million
JOBS CREATED: Over 300 by the end of 2020
MORE INFO: "The expansion in High Point will grow the business’ presence in North Carolina and add clinical care management and customer service positions, including roles for bswift, Aetna’s benefits administration technology and services business, and Aetna One Advocate, an integrated clinical and service model." -
Full Press Release / February 21, 2019

3. Cellectis

PROJECT: Manufacturing facility
LOCATION: Wake County
INVESTMENT: $20 million annual payroll impact 
MORE INFO: "Cellectis intends to build the world’s first manufacturing facility in North Carolina that will put together gene editing and cell therapies. This state-of-the-art facility will reflect our cutting-edge advances in manufacturing sophisticated gene-edited cell therapies at a commercial scale." -
Full Press Release /  March 7, 2019

4. Pacon Manufacturing Corporation 

PROJECT: New plant
LOCATION: Brunswick County
INVESTMENT: $37.6 million
MORE INFO: "Pacon Manufacturing develops and manufactures wipes, pads, towels and liquids for the consumer, industrial and medical industries. Pacon’s products range from disinfecting wipes to makeup remover pads to personal care wipes, and the company manufactures for the leaders in consumer-packaged goods. Pacon Manufacturing was founded in 1949." - Full Press Release /  April 5, 2019

5. Chewy

PROJECT: Fulfillment center
LOCATION: Rowan County
INVESTMENT: $55 million
MORE INFO: "Founded in 2011, Chewy is a leading online retailer of pet food and supplies in the U.S. The e-commerce company offers customers the expertise and service of a local pet store with the convenience of online shopping. The company is dedicated to 24/7 customer service, the development of cutting-edge technology to enhance the user experience, and commitment to sourcing high quality products. Chewy is dually headquartered in Dania Beach, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts, with customer service centers in Dallas, Texas and Hollywood, Florida and eight fulfillment centers around the country." - Full Press Release /  April 17, 2019

6. Superior Plastics Extrusion Company Inc

PROJECT: Expand manufacturing operations
LOCATION: Richmond County
INVESTMENT: $5.3 million
MORE INFO: "Impact Plastics is a privately held, family-owned and operated custom sheet extruder, with plants in Hamlet and Putnam, CT. The company specializes in high efficiency, tight tolerance, thin gauge extruded sheet and roll stock. Impact Plastics’ diverse product offerings include commodity thermoplastic resin materials, which are highly customizable and suitable for a variety of end-user applications, including food, cosmetic and medical packaging. The company’s customers include custom and proprietary thermoformers." - Full Press Release /  April 18, 2019

7. Pella Corporation

PROJECT: New manufacturing facility
LOCATION: Rockingham County
INVESTMENT: $20 million
MORE INFO: "Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project will grow the state’s economy by an estimated $247 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,214,000 spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company." - Full Press Release / May 7, 2019

8. Loba-Wakol LLC

PROJECT: New distribution and warehouse facility
LOCATION: Anson County
INVESTMENT: $6.6 million
MORE INFO: "Loba-Wakol, LLC is the North American subsidiary of two respected German manufacturing companies, Loba and Wakol.  Both companies have been considered leading suppliers for adhesives and finishes for nearly 100 years, offering innovative solutions and systems for a range of industries. They manufacture a wide range of adhesives and coatings for the flooring industry and produce products for the upholstery industry, mattress industry, and the metal packaging industry as well. Loba and Wakol are part of the ARDEX Group of brands. ARDEX is one of the world’s market leaders in high-quality chemical building products."  - Full Press Release /  May 9, 2019

9. AmeriQual Aseptic

PROJECT: Expand facilities
LOCATION: Montgomery County
INVESTMENT: $23.8 million
MORE INFO: "AmeriQual Aseptic is a high-quality food manufacturer that develops, processes, produces, packages and distributes shelf-stable foods. AmeriQual Aseptic will manufacture high-quality protein beverages using practices that prevent contamination. Their current operations in North Carolina include Carolina Dairy, which manufactures yogurt-based products in Biscoe, and Wright Foods, an aseptic food processor in Troy." -
Full Press Release /  May 23, 2019

10. Broad River Retail LLC

PROJECT: Distribution center
LOCATION: Johnson County
INVESTMENT: $2 million
MORE INFO: "Broad River Retail is a privately held company that employs over 540 employees and sells furniture, mattresses and home accessories and is headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The new facility in Four Oaks will be the second campus for Broad River Retail and will be 182,300 square feet. The facility will be a multi-purpose location that will include an Ashley HomeStore plus Ashley HomeStore Outlet connected to a state-of-the-art distribution center, call center, learning center and regional campus." - Full Press Release / May 28, 2019

11. Greenheck Group

PROJECT: Facility expansion
LOCATION: Cleveland County
INVESTMENT: $58.8 million
MORE INFO: "Greenheck Group will expand within the Foothills Commerce Center. The modern manufacturing company is creating a campus in Shelby and will offer state-of-the-art amenities for all employees." - Full Press Release /  May 30, 2019

12. Parexel International Corporation

PROJECT: Headquarters
LOCATION: Durham County
INVESTMENT: $1.7 million
: "Parexel International Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Kingdom-based West Street Holdings III Limited with approximately 20,000 employees worldwide, provides a comprehensive suite of biopharmaceutical research and services to help its customers transform scientific discoveries into new treatments for patients. From clinical trials to regulatory and consulting services to commercial and market access, the company’s therapeutic, technical and functional ability is underpinned by a deep conviction in improving patient health." - Full Press Release / May 30, 2019  

13. VBC Manufacturing

PROJECT: Manufacturing facility
LOCATION: Hamlet/Richmond County 
INVESTMENT: $12 million (over 3 years) 
VBC manufactures prefabricated components that are used in the multi-family residential, student housing, and hospitality construction markets.  Volumetric modular construction is a fast-growing segment of the construction trade that streamlines the process of building by integrating design, engineering, construction and management into an off-site, vertically integrated supply chain.  The company will operate a facility previously run by Ritz-Craft Corporation. The new plant will produce ‘volumes,’ a term used to describe modular units used for high density residential construction." - Full Press Release / June 17, 2019

14. Lowe’s

PROJECT: Technology center
LOCATION: Charlotte
INVESTMENT: $153 million
Lowe’s serves more than 18 million customers a week in the United States and Canada across more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores. Associates at the new center will help accelerate the company’s technology transformation, serving as an epicenter for the team that will help modernize technology systems for the company." - Full Press Release /  June 27, 2019

15. ABB, Inc.

PROJECT: Facility expansion
LOCATION: Orange County
INVESTMENT: $39.9 million
ABB, Inc. is a pioneering technology leader serving customers around the world with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With global headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and its U.S. headquarters in Cary, the company is known for its customer-focused, globally leading businesses in the areas of electrification, industrial automation, motion, robotics and discrete automation, and power grids. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees worldwide." - Full Press Release /  July 10, 2019

16. Telephonics Corporation

PROJECT: New facility 
LOCATION: Pasquotank County
INVESTMENT: $5.5 million
"Telephonics designs and manufactures sophisticated radar and communications systems for the military and aviation industry. The company has been operating at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport since 2010, but will expand into 25,000SF of space in north Elizabeth City to assemble, test and repair Telephonics products." - Full Press Release / August 6, 2019

17. Kitsbow

 PROJECT: Facility expansion
LOCATION: McDowell County
INVESTMENT: $890,000
Kitsbow is a premium clothing brand for cyclists. Using materials from all over the world, Kitsbow makes clothing with innovative materials to create quality, durable gear without sacrificing style. Started in 2012 by mountain bikers, Kitsbow’s team will relocate its West Coast operations to North Carolina with a new manufacturing and distribution center." - Full Press Release / August 28, 2019 

18. Policygenius

PROJECT: New technical and operations center
LOCATION: Durham County
INVESTMENT: $6 million
"Policygenius, founded in 2014 with headquarters in New York City, is an independent insurance broker with an online platform that helps people shop and compare insurance plans from a range of providers. The company offers a variety of insurance products, including health, vision, homeowners, and life insurance." - Full Press Release / August 29, 2019 

19. Carvana

PROJECT: New inspection and reconditioning facility
LOCATION: Cabarrus County
INVESTMENT: $30 million
The company’s new project in North Carolina will create a facility to inspect, recondition, photograph and store cars to address the growing demand, nationwide, for The New Way to Buy a Car, playing a critical role in getting more Carvana customers their vehicles faster. Facilities such as this one intake and prepare used vehicles to then retail online; a procedure that includes a 150-point inspection and photography process using high-definition cameras and patented, proprietary technology." - Full Press Release / August 29, 2019

20. Medline Industries 

PROJECT: Distribution center
LOCATION: Orange County
INVESTMENT: $65 million
Medline is a healthcare company and the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies. The company delivers medical devices and supplies to hospitals, independent physician practices, critical care units, surgical centers, home healthcare and EMS providers." - Full Press Release / September 12, 2019

21. PCB Piezotronics 

PROJECT: Production operations 
LOCATION: Halifax County
INVESTMENT: $4.5 million
PCB Piezotronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTS Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: MTSC), designs and builds test and measurement and industrial sensors that measure vibration, shock, pressure and other dynamic forces. PCB recently acquired the Endevco division of Meggitt PLC, which designs and manufactures similar products to those that PCB makes. Endevco currently produces these products in Xiamen, China and Irvine, California. The company’s new project expands its current facility in Halifax County in order to bring these production lines to North Carolina." - Full Press Release /  September 9, 2019

22. Bharat Forge America Inc

PROJECT: Aluminum forging plant
LOCATION: Lee County
INVESTMENT:  $127 million
Bharat Forge and its subsidiary Bharat Forge Aluminum USA, Inc. are part of the Kalyani Group of companies, headquartered in Pune, India. The Kalyani Group is a $3 billion Indian conglomerate employing 10,000 people in its global workforce and engaged in a wide range of industries. Bharat Forge is backed by more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing safety components for the global automobile industry. The new facility in Sanford will be part of a larger manufacturing center that will bring as many as 460 jobs to Lee County." - Full Press Release / September 17, 2019 

23. Pallet Consultants

PROJECT: New plant
LOCATION: Harnett County
INVESTMENT: $3.1 million
"The Florida-based minority owned company manufactures wooden pallets, provides pallet recycling, pallet management and logistics services across a wide variety of industries. These industries include manufacturing, agriculture, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, transportation, retail, automotive and others." - Full Press Release /  October 2, 2019

24. Ontic Engineering and Manufacturing Inc

PROJECT: Facility expansion 
LOCATION: Granville County
INVESTMENT: $2.7 million
Since 1974, Ontic has been providing high-quality aerospace equipment, cost-effective solutions and aftermarket support of maturing and legacy aerospace platforms. With locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, Ontic provides FAA, CAAS, CAAC, TCCA, DCA, EASA Part 21 and 145 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support for civil and military markets." - Full Press Release / October 4, 2019  

25. Microsoft Corporation 

PROJECT: Expand operations 
LOCATION: Mecklenburg County
INVESTMENT: $23 million
Microsoft is a technology company that enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. " - Full Press Release / October 25, 2019 

26. BrightFarms

PROJECT: Hydroponic greenhouse
LOCATION: Henderson County
INVESTMENT: $21 million
MORE INFO: "BrightFarms grows leafy salad greens and herbs including spring mix, spinach, baby kale, romaine and arugula. The company describes its local greens, which are grown in a safe, secure and clean indoor environment without the use of pesticides, as beyond organic. By growing produce close to its consumers, BrightFarms’ produce is delivered to supermarkets in as little as 24 hours of harvest, about a week faster than leafy greens grown on the West Coast. BrightFarms’ North Carolina greenhouse will be the company’s sixth and one of its largest locations to date. At full production, the 280,000SF state-of-the-art greenhouse in Hendersonville could produce up to two million pounds of leafy greens each year." -
Full Press Release / October 30, 2019  

27. Pamlico Yachtworks

PROJECT: Manufacturing facility
LOCATION: Beaufort County
INVESTMENT: $12 million
"Pamlico Yachtworks is the new manufacturing division of MJM Yachts, a powerboat company that has been building yachts since 2002. The advanced design and engineering of MJM Yachts makes their market leading express yachts durable, easy to drive, and fuel efficient." - Full Press Release / November 12, 2019 

28. Well Dot Inc

PROJECT: New operations center
LOCATION: Chapel Hill
INVESTMENT: $3 million
Well provides a consumer engagement platform that helps individuals navigate and improve their health. Well’s concierge health team and digital experiences provide on-demand support to members for their health needs, while proactively surfacing personalized health insights. Well’s new operations center will serve as the primary center for the company’s clinical and health experts, and will also house software developers, data analysts, and corporate personnel." - Full Press Release / November 19, 2019  

29. The Fresh Market  

PROJECT: Expand headquarters operations
LOCATION: Greensboro
INVESTMENT: $5.4 million
The Fresh Market has been providing a fresh take on grocery shopping for more than 35 years. What started as a dream to bring back the old-world charm of the local market through the original store in Greensboro, has grown to include 159 locations in 22 states. The company is still committed to providing an unparalleled shopping experience with the ambience of a friendly, local market. The company is consolidating its corporate headquarters operations from two separate buildings and expanding into one new, modern location in downtown Greensboro."  - Full Press Release / November 25, 2019  

30. Polyhose Inc

PROJECT: Warehouse and assembly plant
LOCATION: Pender County
INVESTMENT: $7.9 million
Headquartered in India, Polyhose manufactures Thermoplastic, Hydraulic, PTFE and industrial hoses and tubings for large equipment companies such as Caterpillar, Boeing, Graco, and Wagner SprayTech. The global industrial conglomerate employs more than 1,800 employees for their operations in Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and North America. Located in Pender Commerce Park, the new location will be a 40,000 square-foot warehouse for hose assembly and distribution." - Full Press Release / November 26, 2019  

31. Q2 Solutions

PROJECT: New facility
INVESTMENT: $73 million
Q2 Solutions, a joint venture of IQVIA (formerly Quintiles) and Quest Diagnostics, offers end-to-end laboratory services and secure, enterprise-wide bio-specimen and consent management solutions. Q2 Solutions uses its global experience and scientific expertise to transform science and data into actionable medical insights that help its customers improve human health. The expansion of the Q2Solutions Genomics Center of Excellence in NC enhances their ability to provide innovative genomics testing in North America, as well as further enable harmonized genomic testing in Q2 Solutions clinical trials globally." - Full Press Release / November 27, 2019  

32. Little Leaf Farms LLC

PROJECT: State-of-the-art greenhouse facility
LOCATION: Yancey County
INVESTMENT:  $86 million
Little Leaf Farms, with headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts, is disrupting the traditional West Coast-dominated lettuce industry by producing and delivering high-quality leafy greens for local grocery markets at competitive prices. The company has incorporated many innovative features into its high-tech hydroponic greenhouses, including using 100 percent captured rainwater and utilizing advanced fertilization and irrigation systems that use 90 percent less water than field-grown greens. The company’s project in Yancey County will construct up to 20 acres of greenhouses, allowing it to expand its product reach into more East Coast markets. The company currently sells its products in more than 2,000 grocery stores in the northeastern United States." - Full Press Release / December 3, 2019

33. Merck 

PROJECT: Facility expansion 
INVESTMENT: $57 million
The company’s RotaTeq® vaccine is used to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis in children. Rotavirus gastroenteritis can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea that can be severe and lead to dehydration and hospitalization. Merck’s investment at the Wilson site will increase the company’s overall supply of this important medicine." - Full Press Release / December 4, 2019 

34. Sunlight Batteries USA

PROJECT: Machinery and infrastructure to establish their first North American assembly and distribution facilities
LOCATION: Guilford County
INVESTMENT: $6.5 million
"Sunlight operates three state-of-the-art production facilities in Greece and Italy, implementing best practices in manufacturing, health and safety. With 93% of its production is channeled abroad, Sunlight exports to more than 100 countries in all continents. Sunlight Batteries will assemble and distribute lead and lithium batteries at the Greensboro facility." - Full Press Release / December 5, 2019  

35. Michael Aram Inc

PROJECT: Relocating logistics center
LOCATION: Wayne County
INVESTMENT: $3.1 million
Michael Aram, Inc. founded by award-winning artist Michael Aram, is a privately held company that creates beautiful and distinctive objects. Mr. Aram is most recognized for his signature gift and tabletop offerings in metal. However, he also designs and produces large-scale sculptures, furniture, lighting, home fragrance, textiles, porcelain, and fine jewelry. Aram splits his time between his workshop in India and his New York City studio. Aram’s work is sold in over 60 countries through his Los Angeles and New York City flagship stores, as well as department stores and specialty retailers." - Full Press Release / December 10, 2019  

36. Microsoft Corporation

PROJECT: Expansion 
LOCATION: Wake County
INVESTMENT: $47.5 million
"Microsoft is a technology company that enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In October, Microsoft announced an expansion in Charlotte that will create 430 jobs with a $23 million investment." - Full Press Release / December 17, 2019 

 37. Cataler North America Corporation

PROJECT: New manufacturing plant
INVESTMENT: $42 million
  "Cataler North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cataler Corporation, a Japanese-based firm that operates seven manufacturing facilities across the globe. Cataler North America, established in 2002, is located in Lincolnton and supplies automotive catalysts for some of the world’s largest automobile producers. Responding to continuing growth, the company’s new project will establish a second, 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the state, with the new Hickory site offering opportunities for engineers, IT, and production personnel, among others. The company currently employs 378 people in North Carolina." - Full Press Release / December 18, 2019 

38. Aircraft Solutions USA Inc

PROJECT: Aircraft recycling center
LOCATION: North Carolina’s Global TransPark
INVESTMENT: $100 million
Aircraft Solutions serves commercial and military clients with aircraft that have reached their end of life stage and are ready for decommissioning. Despite an aircraft’s age, older airframes often contain many valuable parts and materials that can be recycled. Useful parts may include engines, undercarriage equipment, avionics, and in-flight entertainment systems. In phase one of the project, Aircraft Solutions’ new recycling center will systematically remove, catalog, and inspect parts, certifying them as either usable, repairable, or unfit for service. The company plans to establish a paint shop in phase two of the project." - Full Press Release / December 19, 2019 

Hampton Roads Business Resource Guide 2021-1

Topics:North CarolinaSite SelectionManufacturingEconomic DevelopmentBusiness ExpansionJobs

Currituck County News 

Keep up with business news and events happening in Currituck County, North Carolina and the Hampton Roads region.