North Carolina

NC: Expansion of Eastern N.C. Boatbuilder Brings 60 New Jobs

7 Aug, 2020

World Cat, a manufacturer of outboard power catamarans for recreational boaters worldwide, will expand its North Carolina operations with a new production facility in Pitt County, Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland announced. The company plans to add 60 jobs and invest $8,879,000 at a site in Greenville.
“Despite uncertain economic conditions globally, North Carolina continues to prove itself as the smart choice for growing companies,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Boatbuilding is one of our earliest industries, and today’s expansion by World Cat highlights our capacity to support the success of 21st century global businesses in every region of the state.”
World Cat, a brand of HC Composites LLC, has been headquartered in Tarboro since 2002. The company won the 2019 Governor’s Export Award as a Top Global Reach Exporter for its strong international dealer network. Its expansion is the result of strong consumer demand for 36-foot to 50-foot Custom World Cat’s, whose twin hull design provides a balanced, stable recreational boating experience. World Cat will maintain its 180-person workforce at its facility in Tarboro.
“North Carolina has been a strong partner for World Cat the past 20 years and is a big part of our success,” says Andrew Brown, president of World Cat. “World Cat is a people business: our boats are designed and built by exceptional people, sold by exceptional people, and serviced by exceptional people so our customers have a fantastic experience.” The addition of 230,000 sq.-ft. of manufacturing space in Greenville will position the company for long-term growth in the fastest-growing segment of the recreational market. “We have a wonderful team in Tarboro and are excited to extend our culture and philosophy to our new facility in Greenville,” added Vann Knight, vice president of operations for World Cat. 
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led a team of partners in supporting World Cat’s decision to expand its North Carolina operations. The company had considered other U.S. business destinations. Annual salaries of the new jobs will average $41,085, creating a payroll impact for the community of nearly $2.5 million per year. World Cat will fill positions in engineering, production and sales at its new facility.
A performance-based grant of $180,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate World Cat’s expansion in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments, and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“Expansions by existing North Carolina companies provide the best evidence that our business climate remains competitive with other leading destinations,” said N.C. Senator Don Davis. “Congratulations to World Cat for the success that has led to such significant growth.”
“For years now, Pitt County has offered a home for boatbuilders, and today's news means that we will be able to continue building on that success in our area," said N.C. Rep. Kandie D. Smith, "Greenville is the perfect location for this type of competitive project, and I am grateful for the hard work of our local and state economic development partners and allies who helped bring this project here."
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, Greenville Utilities, Pitt County, Greenville ENC Alliance, and the City of Greenville.