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Business expands into former Maxon plant

By Scott Jenkins
sjenkins@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Universal Forest Products has paid $1.7 million for the former Maxon Furniture plant on Grace Church Road and begun its expansion there with plans to add nearly 50 new jobs over the next few years.
Universal completed the purchase July 19, according to documents filed with the Rowan County Register of Deeds Office. The company has said it plans to invest about $2.6 million total in the expansion, including about $1 million in new equipment.
The company has operated since 1974 at 358 Woodmill Road in Salisbury, where it currently employs 144 workers. Local and state incentives helped clinch the expansion in Rowan County, where Universal will make industrial packaging for large customers.
Lynn Afendoulis, a spokeswoman for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company, said Universal has moved some machinery into the 69,000-square-foot plant at 520 Grace Church Road and has started limited production there.
“We’ll continue to grow into that and move into that,” she said.
Universal says it will take about three years for the plant to get to full employment. Afendoulis said job seekers can fill out applications at the companys’ Woodmill Road plant or the Employment Security Commission Office at 1904 South Main St.
Salaries will vary, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $37,143 plus benefits, the company said earlier. The Rowan County average annual wage is $36,036.
In June, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and Salisbury City Council approved grants of $37,500 apiece to help secure an $85,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund. 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.
For more information on Universal Forest Products, log on to the company’s website at www. ufpi.com
Maxon Furniture shut down its Salisbury operations in 2010, laying off 132 workers.

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