Local News

Military R&D, Services Firm Picks Jones County For New Facility

Posted October 5, 2006

— Defense Holdings, a Virginia-based military research and development firm, will build a new facility in Jones County, the company and Gov. Mike Easley announced Thursday.

Defense Holdings plans to invest $2 million and create 25 jobs over the next three years in the facility. It will be constructed in Trenton.

The company received a $100,000 One North Carolina Fund grant through the N.C. Department of Commerce, according to Easley's office. The grants require at least a match from local entities.

Defense Holdings focuses on systems engineering, information science and technical program management. It has 54 employees working in 10 locations. Its headquarters is in Manassas, Va.

The Trenton facility will focus on research and development in the use of high-performance photoluminescent materials. Such materials can be seen even if there is little or no light. The facility will also convert bulk qualities of the materials to finished products.

Another project housed there will include the assembly of metal-fiber brush kits for use in electric motors for U.S. Navy submarines.

Average wages will be $880 plus benefits, which is nearly double the average Jones County wage of $488 plus benefits.

Defense Holdings said it will be seeking to hire military veterans.

"We believe that many talented veterans and their spouses leaving the military from their last assignment in North Carolina would prefer to stay here if the right opportunities existed," said Richard Martin, Defense Holdings' chief executive officer. "We have had great success with this model in Dover, N.H., and Annapolis, Md., and we are confident it will happen in Jones County, N.C."

Also participating in the recruitment process were the Golden LEAF Foundation, Jones County, Lenoir Community College-Jones County Branch, Neuse River Development Authority Inc., Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corp. and the Small Business Technology Development Center.

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