Airbag Manufacturer Picks Richmond County for New Plant, 200 Jobs

N.C. lands expansion by BST Safety Textiles with nearly $1.6 million in state incentives. Company will spend $35 million on facility.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Richmond County, which has one of the state’s highest unemployment rates at 7.6 percent, is getting some badly needed new jobs.

BST Safety Textiles, a manufacturer of automobile air bags, will build create 200 jobs and invest $35 million in a facility the Richmond county town of Cordova.

The state landed the project with economic incentives of nearly $1.6 million.

BST is a division of Narricot Industries.

“Narricot’s decision to open a facility in North Carolina brings more good-paying jobs to the people of Richmond County,” Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. “This shows our investments in education, worker training and infrastructure provide a business climate that encourages companies to build successful partnerships with our state.”

Narricot develops and manufacturers fabrics for use in airbags. The facility will be located at International Textiles Group in Cordova. Both companies are owned by W.L. Ross & Co., an investment group.

North Carolina offered Narricot a One North Carolina Fund grant of $200,000, which requires a match by local government. A Job Development Investment Grant of up to $1.37 million also was awarded by the N.C. Department of Commerce. The job creation grant is based on the number of jobs created.

The jobs will pay an average wage of $29,000 plus benefits. Current average wage in Richmond County is $24,800 plus benefits.

The company will hire technicians, weavers and material handlers.

“Richmond County provides a highly skilled work force and access to excellent community services to assist with training and recruiting,” said Frank Goehring, Narricot’s chief operating officer. “The growing demand for airbag products presents tremendous opportunities for us and we look forward to becoming an integrated part of this community.”

The N.C. Community College System and Richmond County also participated in the job recruiting process.

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