ENFIELD — Santa Claus came early to Halifax County this year as Gov. Bev Perdue announced this morning more good paying jobs are coming to the Roanoke Valley.
Klausner Mills, an international lumber company, is expanding its operations to include a new facility at 260 Piper Lane, off Highway 301 in Enfield, and will bring 350 new jobs with it.
“Halifax County is proud to be the new home of Klausner Lumber Two as they expand their global footprint to the United States,” chairman of the Halifax County Board of Commissioners James Pierce said. “In addition to the 350 direct jobs that will be created by Klausner, additional jobs will be created in the forest products-supply chain that will provide good-paying jobs for our citizens and further strengthen our local economy.”
Halifax County Economic Development Director Cathy Scott said, the company will build a state-of-the-art lumber processing facility.
“This will be the company’s first mill in the United States,” Scott said.
She said $110 million will be invested by the company, and the jobs will be created over the next three years.
Scott said Klausner will receive a grant of up to $750,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, to support the expansion, and a local match is required. The grant is contingent on approval of local incentives.
In addition the State Economic Investment Committee voted today to award a Job Development Investment grant to Klausner. The grants are awarded to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects where benefits exceed the cost to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Scott added the N.C. Department of Commerce, the N.C. Department of Community Colleges, the Halifax County Board of Commissioners, Halifax County Business Horizons Inc., the town of Enfield, Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, the N.C. Association of Professional Loggers, Rural Economic Development Center and N.C. Department of Transportation leveraged tremendous time and organizational resources in supporting Halifax County’s recruitment of this project.
“This project represents a true partnership of many individuals and organizations working together to support Halifax County’s recruitment of Klausner Lumber Two,” said Frank Avent, chairman of the Halifax County Economic Development Commission. “The work of our partners, along with the abundance of timber resources in our area, was instrumental in the company’s selection of Halifax County.”
The county began working on the project in December 2010.
The average wage of the new positions is $32,603 but will vary by position. Halifax County’s average wage is $27,924 per year.
According to Scott, the company will make a taxable $41 million-facility investment and $69 million in taxable equipment and machinery investments in the county over the next three years.
Site improvements include a rail spur, water and sewer lines, most of which will be funded through grants from the N.C. Rural Center, Community Development Block Grant Economic Development, N.C. Industrial Development Fund and the Economic Development Administration. According to Scott, the county, which bought the land for $1,550,000, will invest an additional $128,256 for site preparation.
Grants for site improvements total nearly $4.5 million.
Halifax Horizons President Gene Minton said “Klausner Lumber’s involvement in Halifax County is a testament to our community’s collaborative efforts to support job creation and investment. Halifax’s excellent sites, rails, Interstate access and pro-business climate will continue to support new economic development in the future.”
State Rep. Angela Bryant, D-Rocky Mount, said, “the forest products industry is one of Halifax County’s oldest and most basic industries and continues to be an important economic sector for the future. Halifax County citizens will reap the benefits of higher-wage, sustainable, green-based employment opportunities for years to come.”