Yarn maker to expand in China Grove
By Emily Ford
CHINA GROVE — Tuscarora Yarns’ decision to expand in China Grove could mean jobs for unemployed textile workers, Mayor Don Bringle said.
“With this being a textile trade and this being a textile community, I’m very excited,” Bringle said.
With a small amount of training, many textile workers in Rowan County likely could fill one of the 124 new jobs Tuscarora Yarns will create in China Grove, Bringle said.
Gov. Bev Perdue announced Tuesday that Tuscarora Yarns, a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of heather and mélange yarns, will open a new facility in Rowan County. The company plans to invest $6.3 million during the next three years in China Grove.
The project was made possible in part by a $146,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which requires local matches. Both the China Grove Board of Aldermen and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners approved incentives to lure the expansion of the 111-year-old company.
“It means economic impact to our community and new money coming in to our area,” Bringle said.
Tuscarora Yarns will move its existing China Grove operations from 406 N. Main St., where 57 people work, to the former Hanesbrands building at 308 E. Thom St., which is larger and more modern.
Bringle said he is pleased the Hanesbrands building will not stand empty.
“So many textile buildings in North Carolina become eyesores,” he said.
Tuscarora Yarns has operated yarn manufacturing mills in North Carolina since 1899. The company produces a variety of yarns for applications such as sportswear, underwear, hosiery, sweaters, home furnishings and automotive components.
“Our China Grove location has served well for the past 25 years,” Martin Foil Jr., CEO of Tuscarora Yarns, said in a statement, “Increasing our investment through new equipment, machinery along with new jobs will allow exciting opportunities at this new location.”
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $27,334 not including benefits. The Rowan County average annual wage is $36,036.
While working in Stanly County, Robert Van Geons said he experienced firsthand that Tuscarora is committed to delivering quality products to their customers.
“Their reputation as a manufacturer who stands behind their product is well-deserved,” Van Geons, executive director for RowanWorks Economic Development, said in an e-mail. “This is a company that consistently finds new ways to compete in the global marketplace. When they make a commitment, they deliver.”
As economic incentives, China Grove and Rowan County will refund 75 percent of the company’s property taxes on new investment for five years.
When Rowan County commissioners approved the incentive grant in December, they tacked on an addendum intended to protect the county’s investment.
If the company ceases operations or eliminates the majority of its workforce, it will be required to repay all grant proceeds received in the past three years.
The addendum came on the heels of PGT’s surprise announcement that the windows manufacturer will leave Rowan County in the middle of a five-year incentive agreement.
The state’s incentive program, 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. Tuscarora Yarns is accepting job applications at 308 E. Thom St. from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.