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Grant for expansion will help company add 103 jobs at Henkel over three years

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
The final component to keep and create jobs at the Henkel Corp. plant in Salisbury fell into place Friday when Gov. Bev Perdue’s office announced that the company’s proposed expansion would receive a $206,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
Nancy Lee, plant manager for Henkel’s Salisbury operation, said it’s definitely good news for a project that will represent a $23.7 million investment and create 103 jobs over the next three years.
It would make the local Henkel operation, located in a portion of the former National Starch and Chemical Co. plant off Cedar Springs Road, the company’s East Coast headquarters in the United States.
Henkel plans to consolidate out-of-state operations, going from six to two, and expand the Salisbury facility, which produces specialty label industrial adhesives and circuit board assembly adhesives.
The Salisbury expansion will focus on electronics-related adhesives.
In 2008, Henkel acquired the adhesives and electronics materials operations of National Starch and Chemical Co.
“We’re excited in Salisbury,” Lee said Friday morning.
The announcement also will help retain 81 existing jobs.
“Henkel is very pleased that we are able to move forward with this significant expansion of our Salisbury site,” said Michael Reilly, vice president of global operations for Henkel, a German company.
“Previously as National Starch, and now as Henkel, we have had a long and positive relationship with the state of North Carolina, the city of Salisbury and Rowan County.
“Specifically, the skill level of our Salisbury workforce has been outstanding.
“Our electronics industry customers require superb quality and responsiveness, and the Salisbury site has been able to meet those expectations largely as a result of our dedicated, focused and committed workforce.
“We look forward to further building the Salisbury team as we move forward with this project.”
Henkel Corp. is an international supplier of adhesives and sealants for industrial, commercial and home use.
The new positions will pay an average annual wage of $54,763, not including benefits. That exceeds the Rowan County average annual wage of $34,788.
The One North Carolina 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.
Both Rowan County and city of Salisbury governments previously approved five-year tax incentives for the project, which will include a 70,000-square-foot addition and 3,000 square feet for offices.
The city and county incentives give Henkel a 75 percent property tax break over five years on the value of the new investment.
Other project partners have included the local Henkel employees, the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission and Duke Energy.
“The completion of this package makes Salisbury the most competitive site for this project,” EDC Executive Director Robert Van Geons said Friday. He said the partners had done everything they could do “to make us the frontrunner” for the East Coast site.
“I feel good about it,” Van Geons said.
Henkel Corp. is part of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, based in Germany. Henkel has regional offices and manufacturing facilities in 75 countries, serving customers in 125 countries. Company operations include offices in Cary, Mooresville and Charlotte, and the manufacturing plant in Salisbury.
Through use of the One North Carolina Fund, more than 35,000 jobs and $6.5 billion in investment have been created since 2001.
“North Carolina continues to support growing companies by offering a skilled workforce, nationally top-rated business climate and unparalleled quality of life,” Perdue said in a press release.
“Our state is the perfect place for manufacturers to grow operations and expand their job opportunities.”
Also in a release, state Rep. Lorene Coates, D-Rowan, said, “during these tough economic times, it’s important to make the investments we need to create jobs in North Carolina.
“We welcome Henkel’s expansion in Rowan County.”

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