Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary John Skvarla along with the Economic Development Partnership of NC announced White Labs, Inc. is opening a new facility in Buncombe County. The company plans to create 56 new jobs over the next three years and invest $8.1 million over the next five years in Buncombe County.
“White Labs is a leader in one of the fastest-growing industries in the country,” said Governor McCrory. “By locating its East Coast operations in Buncombe County, it is establishing North Carolina as a key location for other companies related to the craft beer and wine industries.”
White Labs Inc., based in San Diego, CA, was founded in 1995 and supplies breweries, wineries and distilleries with fresh yeast and related products, including analytical services.
The Buncombe County operation will be its first on the East Coast, and will manufacture yeast for alcoholic beverage production, conduct sales and marketing, beer production, on premise beer sales, classes and retail sales. In addition to San Diego, White Labs has operations in Davis, CA and Boulder, CO.
“Buncombe County is becoming known around the country for its craft beer industry,” said Secretary Skvarla. “North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the South, with more than 100 breweries and brewpubs. It says a lot about the growth of the industry here that White Labs chose this part of North Carolina for its first East Coast operation.”
Salaries will vary by job but will include microbiologists, analytical services and brewing. The average annual salary will be $35,818. The average annual wage for Buncombe County is $35,784.
"At White Labs we are excited about being closer to our customer base in North Carolina and the East Coast, and having the opportunity to expand production to meet our industry's growing needs," said Chris White, president and CEO of White Labs. "We expect this facility to be our anchor for production needs east of the Mississippi and places beyond including Europe. The decision of where to locate our facility was difficult, and we made this decision based on the people we worked with, the city of Asheville, the great breweries in the area, and the quality of life we have witnessed."
"Craft breweries have become a meaningful part of the tourism industry in Buncombe County," said Senator Terry Van Duyn. “This announcement by White Labs will enhance what has become a growing business sector in our region.”
“These new jobs and this new facility are perfectly suited for Buncombe County,” said Senator Tom Apodaca. “White Labs is an industry leader, and they will find that coming to this part of North Carolina is an excellent decision.”
A member from the House chamber weighed in as well. “It is always great to hear about new jobs coming to our region,” said Representative Susan Fisher. “These new jobs coupled with one of our area’s fastest-growing industries will be a great addition to our economy here.”
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $40,000. 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. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership, other partners that helped with this project include: N.C. Community Colleges, Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College, Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville.