Governor Bev Perdue announced Friday, July 17, that Yale Industrial Products Inc., parent company of the Wadesboro facility, will invest $3 million over the next three years to create the new jobs. The announcement was made possible partially due to a $116,300 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
“North Carolina remains a strong, diverse industrial manufacturing region,” Perdue said in a press release. “Our state is attractive to companies looking for opportunities provided by our skilled workforce, business-friendly climate and tremendous quality of life.”
Yale Industrial Products Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbus McKinnon Corp. of New York (NASDAQ: CMCO), which makes powered and manual hoists, trolleys, cranes and other material-handling equipment for diverse applications worldwide. Columbus McKinnon also owns Duff-Norton, a separate manufacturing facility in Charlotte.
Columbus McKinnon currently has four hoist manufacturing facilities in the United States: Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Wadesboro. The Wadesboro plant presently employs 136 workers. The company plans to consolidate its Michigan operation into its existing plants in other states, including the Wadesboro facility, which will add a line of wire rope hoists.
It is estimated that the 65 new jobs will pay an average annual wage of $37,031, excluding benefits— significantly higher than the Anson County average annual wage of $28,288. The jobs will all fall under the manufacturing umbrella, said Joe Ombrello, general manager of Wadesboro Hoist Operations, and will include positions such as assemblers, machinists and engineers, as well as several jobs within the purchasing department.
“I would like to express our appreciation to all those involved in the local, state and federal government who have partnered with Columbus McKinnon in enabling the Wadesboro facility to continue its presence in this global manufacturing economy by contributing to the local economy," Ombrello added. "We look for this partnership to grow as we begin the recruiting and training of new associates.”
Ombrello said he expects the recruiting to begin within the next few months.
"We now have 65 good jobs," said Congressman Larry Kissell, who appeared at a brief announcement ceremony on Monday, July 20. "It's a good feeling."
Mayor Bill Thacker added, "This is an advancement for Anson County and the town of Wadesboro. It's a great day for us."
“We considered the safety, quality, efficiency, productivity and customer-oriented culture of the workforce at our Wadesboro operation,” said Gene Buer, Columbus McKinnon vice president. “Combining those factors, along with a strong leadership team and experience in building wire rope hoists, we have all the right ingredients for success in today’s demanding business environment. In making our decision, we were also very impressed with the level of support we received from the city of Wadesboro, Anson County and the state of North Carolina.”
That partnership was also touted by Anson County Board of Commissioners Chair Anna Baucom on Monday, who said the joint efforts of the town of Wadesboro, county commissioners and the Anson Economic Development Corporation helped to make the new jobs possible.
"The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state," a press release issued by Gov. Perdue's office stated. "Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches."
Through the One N.C. Fund, more than 40,000 jobs and $7 billion in investment have been created since 2001. Other project partners include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, Anson County and the Town of Wadesboro.
“North Carolina continues to be a great state for businesses to locate and expand, and we welcome these new jobs to the region,” said Sen. Bill Purcell.
Added Rep. Pryor Gibson, "During these tough economic times we must continue to make the investments that will bring jobs to North Carolina.”
As new employment positions are identified at Coffing Hoists, they will be posted at the N.C. Employment Security Commission/JobLink Center, 116 W. Wade St., Wadesboro. Applicants must apply at the center.