Absolute Plastics, a new company founded by veterans of the plastics industry, said it would invest $18 million in the plant. The company plans to utilize an existing 107,000-square-foot building that was used in the past for plastics manufacturing, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The former Linpac Plastics plant is located at 2540 Wilco Blvd.
The jobs announcement was the second in less than a week for Wilson. Kidde Aerospace & Defense said it would add 131 jobs and spend $3.4 million to expand its Wilson operation over the next three years.
"Every job is very important," said Ellis Williford, the Wilson County manager.
Unemployment runs at some 7 percent in Wilson County, which has been hard hit by layoffs related to textiles and tobacco, Williford explained.
Governor Mike Easley announced Absolute Plastics' decision.
The company received a $300,000 One North Carolina Fund grant as part of an incentives package to build in Wilson. One North Carolina Funds require a local match.
Wilson On The Move, a private group, matched the One North Carolina Fund with $300,000 in contributions for its several hundred members, according to Jennifer Lantz, executive director for the Wilson Economic Development Council.
"Wilson County On The Move is dedicated to growing industrial jobs in Wilson County," Ingram said. "Not just any jobs. Jobs that pay good salaries."
The company will also receive the use of a $800,000 power generator, Ingram said. The generator will be owned by the City of Wilson. The city received a $500,000 grant from the state's Industrial Development Fund to help pay for the generator, Ingram said. Absolute Plastics will pay the city the other $300,000 over a period of three to five years, she added.
Use of the generator will help lower the firm's electricity costs, Ingram said.
"Absolute Plastics' decision to expand its operations with a plant in North Carolina is a testament to our No. 1 ranked business climate and highly skilled workforce," Easley said in a statement. "We will continue to make the necessary investments in education, workforce development and infrastructure that make our state the best choice for manufacturing companies that are expanding or relocating."
The company will produce thermoformed plastic packaging for the food industry. Wages will range between $540 and $562 per week plus benefits.
"North Carolina and the City of Wilson will provide our company with an excellent source of labor, close proximity to rail and interstate highways for distribution of our products, and local vendors experienced in supplying services to plastic manufacturing companies," said Ray Bryson, one of Absolute Plastics' founders. "It was through the collective efforts of the governor's office and local agencies that made it possible for the company to locate in North Carolina."
Also participating in the recruiting process for the company were the N.C. Department of Commerce, Wilson County and Wilson Technical Community College.
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