New facilities to boost local economy


Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The local economy in 2017 was bolstered by two major economic development announcements coming in a two-week span that will bring more than 900 jobs to the area.

The biggest news in the Twin Counties was the announcement by Triangle Tire Co., one of the largest Chinese tiremakers, making the largest ever manufacturing investment in rural North Carolina with a nearly $580 million in investment and the creation of 800 jobs coming to Edgecombe County by 2023 at the 1,449-acre Kingsboro megasite.

State economists said 70 percent of the jobs created in the state in 2017 went to the major metropolitan areas like the Triangle, the Triad and Charlotte. Gov. Roy Cooper said any jobs going to a rural area is significant. The Edgecombe County operation is expected to pay an average wage of $56,450, which is almost double the average wage of $32,642 in Edgecombe County.

"They (Triangle Tire) could have chosen anywhere on the planet to locate their headquarters, but they chose here in Edgecombe County,” Cooper said. “Instead of shifting jobs overseas, we need to bring overseas jobs to North Carolina, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Triangle Tire became the first major tenant at the Kingsboro megasite that had been developed to lure advanced manufacturing like an automotive company. Triangle Tire will be building its first two manufacturing facilities outside of China there.

Company officials said the two plants will be built in phases. The first phase, which will be for a facility that will make tires for passenger vehicles, will begin construction in the second half of 2019 and be fully operational by 2020.

State officials also touted the announcement of New-York based Corning Inc., a world leading innovator in materials science that has brought health products to the pharmaceutical market for more than 100 years, investing $86 million in Edgecombe County to build a state-of-the-art distribution center that will create 111 jobs.

Corning officials said the jobs will provide future support for the company’s new pharmaceutical glass packaging product, Valor Glass, and potential growth from other Corning businesses in North Carolina and elsewhere. The average wage at the new location will be $33,771, Cooper said. 

The new warehouse facility will be located between Rocky Mount and Tarboro at the intersection of Dunbar Road and U.S. 64 Alternate near Midlake Mobile Home Park. 

Eric Musser, executive vice president of Corning, said the expectation is for the distribution center to be built and fully operational by the second half of 2019. Musser said the warehouse facility will support the company’s life science vessel business.