Unix Packaging, a California-based contract manufacturer of branded and private label beverages, will create 226 new jobs in Burke County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $19 million to locate its first East Coast manufacturing facility in Morganton.
“Companies like Unix Packaging continue to choose North Carolina as the right choice for East Coast operations,” said Governor Cooper. “This decision shines a bright spotlight on North Carolina’s strong economy and ability to support growing companies amid this global pandemic.”
Unix Packaging, founded in 2010, specializes in turn-key production of functional beverages, flavored water, alkaline and vapor distilled water, carbonated soft drinks, and other specialty beverages such as kombucha. Headquartered in Montebello, Cal., the company will establish its third state-of-the-art facility for manufacturing, bottling, and packaging beverage products for well-known national retailers. In addition to its Morganton production facility, Unix will also operate a warehouse for storage of raw materials and finished products.
“Unix Packaging is very excited to commence operations in Morganton, North Carolina,” said Bobby Melamed, CEO of Unix Packaging. “After extensive research, we determined Morganton, North Carolina is the ideal location for our first east coast facility, and we have been welcomed with open arms by the State and local agencies. We look forward to contributing to this community by creating jobs and making longstanding investments that will benefit the community as a whole.”
“North Carolina’s exceptional workforce, market access and infrastructure continue to make it an unbeatable destination for manufacturers of every kind,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “The arrival of Unix Packaging will help sustain the state’s economic momentum as we overcome the adversity brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led a collaborative state effort to attract the company.
Among the positions Unix Packaging will create in Morganton are operators, forklift drivers, shipping specialists, mechanics and office workers. The average annual salary for the new positions could exceed $39,000, with a payroll impact of more than $8.8 million per year for the local economy. The current average annual wage in Burke County is $36,801.
A performance-based grant of $500,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Unix Packaging’s location to Burke County. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One N.C. grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“We’re proud to welcome another national manufacturing leader to Western North Carolina,” said N.C. Senator Warren Daniel. “Unix Packaging is a quality company making quality products, and their choice of Morganton for this significant investment is evidence they also appreciate quality communities.”
“This is exciting news for the people of Burke County, who will benefit from the new jobs and investment dollars Unix Packaging is bringing here,” said N.C. Representative Hugh Blackwell. “I congratulate this growing company for the success that has led to this important expansion.”
In addition to N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, the North Carolina Community College System, Western Piedmont Community College, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Burke County, the City of Morganton, ElectriCities and Burke Development Inc.