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Universal Forest Products to add jobs, transform Maxon building

SALISBURY — Universal Forest Products officially announced Wednesday that it will invest $2.6 million over the next three years to expand its Rowan County operation.
The company plans to create 49 jobs, a press release said. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $37,143 plus benefits. The Rowan County average annual wage is $36,036.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand in Rowan County, an area that has served us well for many years with excellent employees and customers, and with a good environment for growing our business,” Jeff Richard, general manager of the company’s local operation, said in the press release.
Universal Forest Products, which makes and distributes wood and wood-alternative products, has operated a facility at 358 Woodmill Road in Salisbury, where it currently employs 144 workers, since 1974. It will add a second location, refurbishing the Maxon Furniture building at 520 Grace Church Road. The new facility will concentrate on customized industrial packaging for large customers.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us, and we’re pleased to be in a position to add jobs and grow our operations,” Richard said.
The expansion was made possible in part by an $85,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, Gov. Bev Perdue’s office said Wednesday. Earlier this month, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and the Salisbury City Council approved local matching grants of $37,500 apiece to lure the project here.
The incentives are based on job creation and paid in up to three installments. A clawback provision would force the company to pay back the incentive if employment falls below a certain level.
“Large manufacturers with a presence in North Carolina know we have a tremendous workforce and a strong business climate and these businesses continue to look to North Carolina when they need to expand,” Perdue said in a press release. “Helping to grow existing North Carolina employers is a key part of our job creation strategy.”
Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, RowanWorks, Duke Power, the City of Salisbury and Rowan County.
Visit the Universal Forest Products website at www.ufpi.com for more information about the company, including job opportunities.

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