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Uniboard Canada will bring 104 new jobs to Chatham County

Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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Moncure, NC - Chatham County will soon welcome Uniboard Canada Inc. as a new industry that will create 104 new jobs and preserve 146 existing jobs in the Moncure area, according to a news release issued by Gov. Mike Easley. Uniboard Canada Inc. is an internationally known manufacturer of pressed wood products.

The news release noted that the company plans to invest $142 million to recondition an existing factory and to spend $120 million on a new facility. The 104 new jobs will be added over the next three years. The location of the plant in the county was made possible in part by a $250,000 One North Carolina Fund grant.

Uniboard Canada is headquartered in Laval, Canada, and is a subsidiary of Pfleiderer AG in Germany. It manufactures decorative laminates, panels and related products.

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners have joined State Rep. Joe Hackney and Sen. Bob Atwater in commending the extensive collaboration involved between state and local government as well as the private sector.

“This is a very important announcement for our county and many groups are responsible for making this happen,” said George Lucier, who chairs the Board of Commissioners. “Our Economic Development Corporation did an outstanding job of pulling together all the pieces, but we also are appreciative of the support we received from the Governor’s Office, the State Department of Commerce, the State Community College System, our legislative delegation and Progress Energy.”

Mike Cross, vice chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and a Moncure resident said that “we are certainly thrilled to have such an outstanding company locating here, especially given the critical need for jobs in the county. They also will help support other businesses during the construction process and by buying locally-produced raw materials for their product line, such as resin from Arclin.”

Dianne Reid, president of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation, noted that another very positive factor is that the average wage for the new plant is estimated at $45,303, which is substantially higher than the county’s current average wage of $29,588.

Reid said that process of recruiting Uniboard Canada began when the company started looking to expand into the southeastern part of the country to tap into this market. “They were looking for open land for a new plant, but also will be able to buy and retrofit an existing particleboard plant.”

Reid said that sites in Virginia and South Carolina also were considered, so “it was a very competitive process.”

She added that Uniboard Canada is on a fairly fast track to build the new $120 million fiberboard plant on 400 acres, with the goal of completing construction within a year.

The Governor’s Office news release quoted James Hogg, president and CEO of Uniboard Canada as saying that “this is a significant step in Uniboard’s strategic plan to strengthen our leadership in engineered wood panels in eastern North America and become the supplier of choice with our customers.”

He added the acquisition of the Moncure facility is “a reflection of Uniboard’s long-term commitment to our customers, especially on the East Coast, and solidifies our offering in laminate flooring through our sister company Pergo, located in Raleigh.”

The Governor’s Office announcement noted that the One North Carolina Fund assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. One North Carolina Fund grants require local matching incentives.

Reid said that based on Chatham County’s existing performance-based incentives policy, Uniboard Canada qualifies for the highest level of incentives because of the number of jobs created and the capital investment they are making. “This means that after the plant is built and employees are hired, they will receive an 80% refund of their property taxes for five years.”

According to Reid, if all incentives are earned and paid out in the first five years of operations, Chatham County will still net $600,000 in property tax revenues. Once the refund period expires, the county can expect to gain nearly $700,000 in property taxes per year from Uniboard Canada.

For more information about the company, including employment opportunities, visit the company’s web site at www.uniboard.com

 
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