170 new jobs coming to Rowan County as Amrep announces expansion

Published 1:59 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

ROWAN COUNTY — In front of a crowd filled with local government officials, Rowan EDC officials and others from across the county, Amrep announced an expansion to their operations in Rowan County that is expected to bring 170 jobs to the area.

At an event on Thursday organized by the EDC, Chief Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce Jordan Whichard announced that Amrep, a subsidiary of Wastequip, will be expanding their site on Julian Road, expanding its first waste truck production facility on the East Coast. Whichard said that the expansion is expected to bring 170 jobs and more than $21 million in capital investments.

“This region of the state is growing thanks to its wonderful location with the interstate being connected to the state’s transportation network, a wonderful business climate and excellent quality of life. Much of this is attributed to the investments that Rowan County continues to make in this community as it provides a great place to live, work and play,” Whichard said.

Joining Whichard on stage during the announcement were EDC President Rod Crider, Rowan County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds and Amrep President Eric Mattson.

Mattson spoke about the reasons the company chose to both move to Rowan County in the first place and is now expanding their operations. Mattson said that the company, which delivered products primarily on the West Coast, was considering an expansion onto the East Coast in 2017. During that process their business partner Hexagon Agility, then Agility Fuel Solutions, recommended that the company move to Rowan County as Agility had done three years prior. Mattson said that as part of that recommendation, company officials toured Agility’s facility in Rowan County and spoke to county officials.

“We knew immediately when we got here that this was the place that we wanted to be. Not only is it located centrally on the Eastern seaboard, but it’s just a great business environment to work in,” Mattson said.

Mattson said that when the company began looking at options, the Julian Road site stuck out because the company wanted the room to expand in the future. While COVID delayed those plans by a few years, the company is now fulfilling their wish.

“When we started this process in 2017, we had sold zero trucks in the Eastern market. This year in 2024, we sold 150 roll-off units and we’ll sell 150 packer bodies into the Eastern market. We’ve doubled our business, and this is something we’re very proud of,” Mattson said.

Edds and Crider both said that they viewed Amrep’s decision to not just keep their operations in the county, but expand them further as an example of how well the community works with businesses and how well Rowan County is set up for the future.

“When you’ve got a company that comes here and we do what we say we’re going to do, we take care of those folks and they like our employees, they like our community. When they come back a second time, that says volumes about our community. When folks like Amrep come back and they spend a whole lot more than they spent the first time, that is a real tribute to the community,” Edds said.

Crider noted that back in 2017, the county was struggling to bring in companies. However, after the county had positive experiences with a few companies such as Amrep and Agility, the county’s reputation as a good location for business began to attract more companies.

“I’ve seen surveys that asked ‘what influenced the decision to go to a particular area,’ and always at the top is discussions with their peers, either in the industry or elsewhere. The fact that we did a good job with Agility, good enough that they said ‘you should come here too,’ to their business partner, it doesn’t get any better,” Crider said.

The expansion will be an 82,000-square-foot building, Mattson said, which will be approximately double the size of the current building. Currently, the company has approximately 50 employees but the expansion will bring the total to over 200 employees, he said.

The new positions will include fabricators, mounters, painters, supervisors, welders and other support staff, according to a press release from the EDC. The positions are expected to provide an annual wage of $57,490. The release also stated that the expansion is expected to bring in $900,000 in new property tax revenue to the county over the next 10 years.

“We’ve had, for so long, folks working two or three part-time jobs at minimum wage and no benefits. This provides hope for moms and dads, husbands and wives, that they will provide health insurance, vacations and retirement and all those things for a family that they have not  had access to in the past. This lifts the folk of Rowan County, it gives opportunity and hope to those folks,” said Edds.