A Chinese company plans to invest more than $30 million in a new Lincoln County manufacturing and distribution facility that is expected to bring about 450 jobs during the next four years, officials said Monday.
The company was lured in part with state and local incentives worth almost $3.5 million. Chongqing RATO Power Company Ltd. is eligible to receive up to 60 percent of its state personal income withholding taxes for 10 years.
The company is also eligible to receive $153,333 per year from Lincoln County, officials said. Both incentives packages are tied to job-creation goals.
This is a huge announcement and shows manufacturing is alive and well in Lincoln County, said N.C. Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), in a statement.
Pay for the companys workforce will vary by job, but the total annual payroll is expected to be more than $13.4 million. Thats an average of $29,778 per job.
Chongqing RATO, from southwest China, was established in 2007. In 2010, the company bought N.C.-based Denver Global Products in January. The company manufactures and sells generators, water pumps, motors, and small scooters and all-terrain vehicles. According to Chongqing RATOs website, the company has a team of 300 engineers, and produces 1.2 million vehicle engines annually.
Denver Global Products currently has 27 employees at its facility, a building that was expected to be a new Crate & Barrel distribution center before the economic downturn hit. Executives with Denver Global could not be reached Monday.
Lincoln Countys unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in August, the most recent month available. Thats down from the same month last year, when unemployment was 12.1 percent.
The new facility in Lincoln County will include Chongqing RATOs North American administrative, sales, manufacturing, distribution, and research and development functions.
Crystal Gettys, interim director of Lincoln Countys economic development office, said she has been working on this project for about two years.
She said she hopes the move will spur other companies to consider locating facilities in the area.
We certainly hope that it opens the door for possibly other China-based companies to take a look at Lincoln, said Gettys.