Era Polymers Corporation, an Australian manufacturer specializing in polyurethane chemistry, will open its first industrial facility in the United States, creating 20 new jobs in Gaston County. The company plans to invest $9.2 million in Stanley.

“Advanced manufacturers from around the world continue to choose North Carolina as the ideal place to expand,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “Our skilled workforce combined with our central east coast location enable international companies that locate here to serve customers efficiently across the United States and North America.”

Era Polymers, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia, produces a diverse line of polyurethane products sold in over 70 countries. The new manufacturing operation in Stanley, the first American plant for the company, will join four other production facilities operated by the company in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Strong sales growth in North America led the company to search for a new business location in the United States.

“Era Polymers has been conducting business within the USA for more than 15 years,” said George Papamanuel, president of Era Polymers. “It became a logical step for us to establish our own presence in the USA with an advanced manufacturing facility, to better supply and technically service our growing customer base.”

Papamanuel added that “the support from local, county and state authorities made a compelling case to locate our facility in Stanley, N.C. This world-class facility is the ideal platform to support the next growth stage of our company.”

“Investments from international companies like Era Polymers are an important component of our state’s economy,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “North Carolina continues to attract these foreign direct investments due to our stellar reputation as a business location.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina were instrumental in supporting the company’s decision to locate in the state.

Taking into consideration all of the new positions announced today, the average annual wage of the new jobs will be $66,250. The average wage in Gaston County is currently $38,780.

A performance-based grant of $50,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Era Polymers’ move into Gaston County. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments. In addition to creating and maintaining the 20 jobs, meeting a threshold of $8 million in investment is directly tied to the company’s OneNC agreement.

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, Gaston County Community College, the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, the Town of Stanley, and the Gaston County Economic Development Commission.