NC: Germany-Based Norafin to Invest $16M, Hire 46 for 1st U.S. Mfg Facility

10 Nov, 2016

Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina announced Norafin Americas, Inc. will establish a manufacturing plant in Henderson County, which will create 46 new jobs during the next three years. The German nonwoven textile maker will invest $16 million at a location in Mills River for its first production facility outside of Germany.

“The arrival of Norafin Americas builds on North Carolina’s global leadership in manufacturing,” said Governor McCrory. “Our state’s exceptional workforce, convenient access to major markets and outstanding business climate will support this growing company as it expands production into North America.”

Since Governor McCrory entered office in January 2013, North Carolina’s economy has generated more than 300,000 jobs.

Norafin Americas is a unit of the Norafin Group, headquartered in the German state of Saxony. The company develops, produces and sells high-performance, specialty, nonwoven fabrics to buyers across the protective barrier, industrial, filtration, medical, automotive, apparel, and other technical markets. In March 2016, VR Equitypartner, a leading equity capital company in Germany, Austria and Switzerland became the majority shareholder. In July 2016, investment management company, Maxburg Capital Partners, joined the shareholders to further strengthen future growth into the US. Norafin currently runs a sales office in Asheville.

“The world is bullish on North Carolina, especially when it comes to manufacturing,” said Secretary Skvarla. “Last year, 80 percent of the nearly 5,300 announced new jobs through foreign direct investment projects were in manufacturing.”

Norafin Americas will hire operators, supervisors, technicians and managers. While compensation will vary by position, the average salary of the new jobs will be $35,524 per year. Overall annual wages for Henderson County currently average $35,287. 

“Norafin’s expansion into the USA is instrumental in demonstrating support to our existing North American customers, and providing a domestic platform to enable continued future growth,” said Stuart Smith, General Manager for Norafin Americas. “We investigated many possible locations, however, the area, community and infrastructure resources, along with on-going support from North Carolina, Henderson County, and Mills River, made it the best location to call home.”

Norafin Americas’ arrival in North Carolina was facilitated in part by a performance-based grant of up to $100,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance in support of local governments in creating jobs and attracting economic investment. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants are contingent upon a local government match.

In addition to North Carolina Commerce and EDPNC, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, N.C. Revenue, Henderson County, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and the Town of Mills River.