Governor McCrory Announces 350 New Manufacturing Jobs for Henderson County

Hendersonville, N.C.

Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) joined executives from GF Automotive and Linamar Corporation in announcing the arrival of 350 manufacturing jobs in Henderson County during the coming five years. GF Linamar LLC, a joint venture between GF Automotive and Linamar, will invest $217 million in a new facility in the Town of Mills River in two phases over the next seven years.  The company will supply light-weight powertrain, driveline and structural components to the North American automotive industry. 
 
“Two major international manufacturers are coming together, and they’ve selected North Carolina as the destination for their innovative joint venture,” said Governor McCrory. “Our hard-working, well-trained labor force and convenient proximity to leading automakers are among the many assets that make our state the ideal choice for strategic, innovation-based ventures such as GF Linamar.”

The project unites Switzerland-based GF Automotive with Canada’s Linamar Corporation. GF Linamar will apply cutting-edge technology in producing light-weight automotive components that enhance vehicle fuel efficiency. GF Automotive’s parent company, Georg Fischer Ltd, was founded in 1802 and has operations in 31 countries. Linamar, founded in Canada in 1966, opened a manufacturing plant in Buncombe County in 2012. Just two years later, it launched a $115 million expansion there. Linamar also operates a forging facility in Wilson, North Carolina  
 
“North Carolina continues to lead the southeastern U.S. in manufacturing, and today’s announcement puts us ahead even further,” said Secretary Skvarla. “With the addition of GF Linamar to the state’s industrial roster, our transportation manufacturing cluster is now well into overdrive, with more than 160 companies employing 17,000 workers.” 
 
The 350 new jobs at GF Linamar will pay wages well above the Henderson County average. The total cash compensation average for all employees including operators, skilled trade employees, engineers, management and executives will be targeted at an average of $47,738. The county’s average annual wage is currently $34,256. 
 
“We are very pleased to announce that we have selected Henderson County, North Carolina as the site of the GF Linamar LLC foundry,” stated Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar. “This will be our 4th plant in North Carolina, an area where we have thrived thanks to a fantastic workforce and a great business environment.  It is rapidly becoming an important hub for us to serve our customers in the southern U.S.” 
 
“We appreciate very much the warm welcome and the support from the state of North Carolina and the Henderson County authorities," comments Yves Serra, CEO of GF. “The location is ideal for us and we look forward to a prosperous future for our joint venture in the U.S.”
 
GF Linamar’s arrival in Henderson County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee today. Under the terms of the company’s JDIG, GF Linamar is eligible to receive up to $4.2 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by NC Commerce and NC Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall tax benefit to the State of North Carolina.
 
By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Tier 3 counties such as Henderson County, 25 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in less populated counties. GF Linamar’s expansion could provide as much as $1.4 million in new funds for the Utility Account. More information on county tier designations is available at nccommerce.com.
 
The project was also made possible by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina fund of up to $500,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent on financial matches from local governments.  
 
State Representative Chuck McGrady said the economic impact of GF Linamar’s new facility will stretch well beyond the Town of Mills River. “The 350 employees who go to work there will come from across Henderson and neighboring counties,” he said. “The project’s $217 million capital investment will broaden county and municipal tax-base and help fund mission-critical public services for all our residents.”
 
“Henderson County’s selection for this vehicle components plant brings good-paying jobs that have staying power,” said State Senator Tom Apodaca. “It shows western North Carolina has become a leading destination for the world’s advanced manufacturers.”
 
Since Governor McCrory took office in January of 2013, more than 260,000 private sectors jobs have been created.
 
Governor McCrory praised the collaboration among numerous economic development organizations, partners and allies that led to North Carolina’s selection for the project.
 
“Landing global manufacturers takes a team effort,” McCrory said. “It’s not an individual competition.”
 
Working with the North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina were the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Transportation, NCWorks, the North Carolina Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Town of Mills River, Duke Energy, and Golden Leaf Foundation.

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