By Michael Abramowitz
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker on Wednesday announced the creation of 159 new manufacturing jobs in Beaufort County, then visited East Carolina University looking for more job growth possibilities.
Decker and Gov. Pat McCrory announced that idX Impressions, which builds store fixtures for retailers, banks and telecom companies across the globe, will expand its manufacturing operations in Beaufort County and invest $3 million in Washington, N.C., during the next three years.
“Companies like idX Impressions are contributing to an increasing trend of job growth throughout rural North Carolina,” Decker said. “It’s time for a bold, focused, comprehensive approach to economic development that will improve the economic health of North Carolinians in all 100 counties.”
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual payroll for the new jobs will be in excess of $4.8 million, plus benefits, commerce officials said.
“IdX looks forward to expanding our presence in Beaufort County,” idX CEO Terry Schultz said. “The North Carolina facility will offer idX a strategic location to increase our manufacturing and distribution capability, and better serve our customers. The expanded facility will be part of idX’s global network that includes 18 locations, and more than 1,500 employees.”
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $300,000. The 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, which also are contingent upon local matches.
Other partners that helped with the project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, North Carolina State University-IES, Beaufort County, the Northeast Commission and the City of Washington.
During her stop at ECU, Decker visited with Chancellor Steve Ballard and toured the Brody School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences building to see the virtual training facilities where students prepare for careers as doctors, technologists and therapists.
“I’m encouraged by the direct connection between the university and the community, and this notion about making all this (research and technology) practical and usable,” Decker said. “I also was encouraged to find so many students at East Carolina who want to stay and make their careers in eastern North Carolina. I see the passion for that in the university’s administration and in the students as well, and that’s the way it should be.”
Decker said the timing of her visit coincided well with the commerce department’s start of its 10-year economic plan.
“I think it’s important today for me to visualize the statewide impact of the regional focus of this university, particularly at this medical school,” Decker said.
Contact Michael Abramowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9571.
via The Daily Reflector.