BRUNSWICK COUNTY — New Jersey-based company Pacon Manufacturing announced today its plans to bring 299 new jobs to Navassa.
It will also invest $37.6 million in the location, according to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement Friday. Salaries will vary, averaging at $31,273, according to the governor’s announcement.
The company was previously unknown under “Project Pavement,” a proposed state-incentivized project under the North Carolina Secretary of Commerce. In January, Brunswick County pledged a $35,000 match to the state’s $700,000 building reuse deal to attract the company.
However, the governor’s announcement did not mention the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Development Building Reuse Grant, as originally planned.
Instead, the company will be incentivized by a $300,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund. Under this program, which allows the governor “to respond quickly competitive job creation projects,” companies do not receive any money upfront.
Once job creation and capital investment targets are met, local governments provide a matching grant. In 2019, Brunswick County is ranked as a “Tier 3” county. This means it would be required to provide an exact match to the state’s grant. So, if Pacon Manufacturing meets all its promised conditions, it could receive a maximum of $600,000 under the One North Carolina Fund.
The use of a Building Reuse Grant in addition to the One North Carolina Fund grant was not ruled out. If both are earned, the company could be reimbursed for a maximum of $1.3 million, funded by state and local contributions.
Also under the new arrangement, Pacon Manufacturing will bring 59 more jobs than the 240 it first proposed under Project Pavement in January.
Pacon Manufacturing got its start in 1949, according to the company’s website. For four decades, it focused on producing sterilized paper materials used in wound dressings in the medical field. The company veered into consumer products in the 90s, helping to package blackhead-clearing pore strips. And in the 2000s, Pacon Manufacturing brought the first “water-activated” cleansing formula to market, which is used in wipes.
The company plans to upgrade existing, abandoned facilities off 100 Quality Drive in Navassa. It will use this site to expand its manufacturing operations and warehouse needs.
Sitting on 60 riverfront acres, Pacon Manufacturing already has 327,000 sq. ft. of combined building space to work with. After being built in 2000, the buildings were last occupied by the U.S. Marine Corps, according to Brunswick County’s January resolution to support the project. It has rail-line access and a dock on the Brunswick River.
According to Brunswick Business and Industry Development’s director, Bill Early, the company will not have water or air quality impacts.
“Manufacturers need workforce and infrastructure, and Brunswick County has both,” Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland said in Cooper’s release. “I am proud to welcome Pacon Manufacturing’s significant investment in North Carolina. Pacon is making a big bet on our state, and I know we have what it takes to deliver.”
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