EGGER Wood Products, one of Europe’s leading wood-based materials suppliers for the furniture, wood construction and flooring industries, has selected Davidson County in North Carolina as the site of its first U.S. manufacturing plant.
The Austrian company plans to create 770 jobs and invest $700 million over the next 15 years at the county-owned I-85 Corporate Center. The first phase, creating 400 jobs and supported by state and local incentives, will happen over the next six years at the park near Linwood, about 40 miles southwest of Greensboro. An additional 370 jobs are planned for later phases.
EGGER will be the first major development at the 430-acre park, which was unveiled last April with plans to significantly expand its footprint. Over several phases of construction in the coming years, EGGER intends to build more than 4.5 million square feet of space on 200-plus acres in the park.
“Having our own production facility in North America is vital for EGGER to tap into the market and become a significant player for the growing demand in the U.S. for wood-based materials,” said Walter Schiegl, EGGER chief technology officer and member of its executive board.
“Our sales activities in the U.S. have already proved our product range is highly attractive for architects, designers, wholesalers and industry customers. With the Davidson County production site, we will be able to enhance our customer relationships, ensuring product availability and speed of delivery. Our goal is to position ourselves as the leading brand for wood-based solutions in the U.S., as we are already in Europe.”
A family-owned company based in Tyrol, Austria, EGGER Group operates 17 plants and 25 sales offices worldwide, providing a wide range of wood-based products. EGGER is the global leader in decorative surfaces on wood-based materials and has developed a complete range of products and cutting-edge designs.
The North Carolina facility will be a state-of the-art particle-board manufacturing plant. The facility will contribute to the regional economy by purchasing wood byproducts from sawmills and working with a range of local suppliers for additional services.
“Furniture manufacturing is part of North Carolina’s legacy, and our top-flight workforce gives EGGER an edge as they enter the U.S. marketplace,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in announcing the project. “North Carolina offers international manufacturing companies everything they need to succeed, including strong infrastructure, proximity to suppliers and customers, and skilled workers.”
EGGER will hire management, administration and skilled production workers. Average salaries will be $40,000, above Davidson County’s average annual wage of $36,836.
EGGER’s expansion is supported by a state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG), which considers state tax revenues generated by new jobs a project creates. If EGGER meets its committed hiring and investment goals, it will receive up to $5.3 million in reimbursements over 12 years.
Because EGGER is locating in Davidson County, classified as Tier 2 under state economic designations, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $596,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The account helps rural communities throughout the state finance infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. More information on state tier designations is available here.
The project was also awarded a performance-based grant of up to $2.5 million from the One North Carolina fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job-creation and investment performance targets to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require local government matching funds.
The state Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) led the state’s support for project. Partnering with Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina State University, Davidson County Economic Development Commission, N.C. Railroad, N.C. Department of Transportation, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Duke Energy, Norfolk Southern and Golden LEAF Foundation.