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CONOVER - Folks in these parts are used to jobs connected to the textile industry moving overseas but a Chinese company is locating here and creating nearly 80 jobs.
Catawba County Economic Development Corp. announced on Thursday that Wuxi Taiji Paper Industry Co. Ltd. is putting its first US manufacturing location in Conover and will hire 78 workers over the next four years. The company is buying the former Prestige Pillow 50,000-square-foot building, located at 405 Wortha Herman Road SW in Conover. It plans to invest $3 million, say EDC officials.
The company makes spiral-wound cardboard tubes and cores used in multiple industries, including the textile industry, according to information from the county EDC.
Julie Pruett, director of business recruitment for Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, said the jobs will include administration, sales and production. The first phase of hiring will start soon, according to information from the county EDC.
While salaries will vary according to the job, the overall average annual salary is more than $31,000, not including the additional benefits package, according to information from Catawba EDC.
The company is not receiving any incentives from the county or state, Pruett said. But it will get tax credits for the jobs it creates, she said.
Pruett said the company wants to have its equipment moved into its new building by February and be up and running by March.
"We are determined to be a respected tube and core supplier in North America," says Mr. Meizong Yin, the company president.
The company is following what appears to be a trend to localize manufacturing. In other words, if a company sells in the US, it makes its products in the US, say officials.
"We are honored that Mr. Meizong Yin selected Conover as their first manufacturing footprint in America," said Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. "Our citizens are appreciative for this opportunity to become a member of the TAIJA Group team. It is exciting to see visionary international companies like TAIJI Group recognize the value of American manufacturing."
Conover was competing against areas throughout the state, as well as locations in Virginia, Pruett said. County EDC and the state Department of Commerce officials have been working with the company since September, she said.
"It makes good business sense to locate their US operation in Catawba County which is the most specialized area for manufacturing in North and South Carolina," Pruett said. "We were fortunate to have an available building with adequate ceiling heights and square footage that would meet the client's needs."
The company also chose Conover because it is centrally located near its customers, Pruett said.
The Taiji Group was established in China in 1994. In addition to the Chinese market, the company also has customers who are leading multinational companies in South East Asia, Europe and North and South America, according to information from Catawba County EDC.
"We welcome TAIJI Group(USA) Inc. to Catawba County and applaud their commitment to grow their business in the United States by investing in the people of Catawba County," said Kitty Barnes, chair of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners.
To apply for a job with Wuxi Taiji Paper Industry Company, contact the Catawba County office of the NC Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security at 466-5535. The employment office is located at 3301 US 70 SE, Newton.