Saturday, June 25, 2022

Leland to benefit from job-creating automotive industry

LELAND —  An automotive manufacturer will offer 17 new jobs in Brunswick County in a $1.8-million expansion. 

Bluegrass Protective Films, a manufacturer of interior and exterior car laminates, is bringing its business to Leland, Brunswick Business & Industry Development announced Tuesday. 

Bluegrass will operate and distribute its goods from Leland Innovation Park and hire positions ranging from sales to machine operation. Within five years, the company could increase its employment to 33 positions and its investments to an $8 million investment, according to a press release. 

The company will pay an average annual wage of $50,576, above the county average of $42,500. 

Bluegrass settled on Brunswick County because of its skilled workforce and close proximity to raw materials. Brunswick Business & Industry Development helped facilitate the move. 

“We also have an excellent community college system that provides training to improve skills of the workforce,” Brunswick Business & Industry Development Executive Director Bill Early said. “Brunswick County also provides a lifestyle that helps a company attract and retain skilled workers.”

The shipping center in Leland will allow Bluegrass to offer two-day ground UPS shipping to most of the East Coast. 

The business is headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana and operates another location in Boston. 

The automotive’s move to Brunswick County is part of a larger initiative to usher more of the industry to North Carolina. 

“North Carolina has long been positioning itself to attract automotive manufacturers,” Early said. 

He cited last year’s inclusion of Toyota’s first North American battery manufacturing plant in Greensboro and the Vietnamese startup VinFast’s electric vehicle factory addition in Chatham County in March as recent successes. 

“These jobs improve skill levels and provide high paying jobs for employees,” Early said. 

According to Brunswick Business & Industry Development, the county has over 200,000 skilled workers and 53,000 college students between the area’s two universities and three community colleges. The county is also the fastest growing in North Carolina. 

Early thinks Bluegrass’ expansion might attract more automotive businesses to the area in the future and said the workforce, infrastructure and land is waiting to accommodate their needs. 

Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at

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