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RATO picks Lincoln, to bring 450 jobs

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

Denver Global Products, acquired by China-based RATO as a subsidiary earlier this year, has chosen Lincoln County to locate its manufacturing, distribution and research and development operations, bringing with it 450 jobs over the next four years.

The decision was announced by the office of Gov. Bev Perdue Monday afternoon.

As the Times-News previously reported, the county’s Board of Commissioners was already scheduled to consider additional incentives for the company at its meeting Monday night, which commissioners ended up unanimously approving.

These incentives include a waiver of water and sewer capacity development fees, water and sewer tap fees and building inspection fees and permits, as well as a reduction of land price (if applicable).

While presenting the agreement, Crystal Gettys, interim director and business-development manager for the Lincoln Economic Development Association, said, “This has been a long process.” Denver Global’s decision was the culmination of two years of work by Gettys and other state and local leaders.

She additionally thanked commissioners for their support in landing the company.

Chairman Alex Patton congratulated Gettys and said it was a great day for Lincoln County. Meanwhile, County Manager George Wood announced that additional grants, totaling almost half a million dollars, had also been secured for Denver Global.

Although Lincoln County faced stiff competition from other states, including Georgia and South Carolina, the company, which announced the county as its North American headquarters in February, was lured in part by a Job Development Investment Grant and through the efforts of the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Lincoln County, Lincoln Economic Development Association and the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, according to Perdue’s press release.

The state Economic Investment Committee voted Monday to award the grant to Denver Global Products. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

“This is a huge announcement and shows manufacturing is alive and well in Lincoln County,” said N.C. Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln. “Denver Global Products will be a great addition to our community, and I know they will thrive here with our skilled work force.”

The company plans to invest $30.2 million locally. Additionally, while individual wages for the 450 jobs will vary by job function, the average annual payroll for the new jobs will be more than $13.4 million.

“North Carolina continues to be a top choice for companies looking to establish advanced manufacturing as well as research and development facilities,” Gov. Perdue said in a statement. “This proves how important our investment in education and infrastructure is, and that it’s resulting in good jobs for North Carolinians.”

Denver Global concentrates on innovating solutions for consumer products. The manufacturing facility will produce DGP-developed products as well as RATO products. Incorporated in North Carolina in 2010, Denver Global was acquired by Chongqing RATO Power in January. The company currently employs 27 people at its Lincoln County location, temporarily set up in the Lincoln County Industrial Park.

“It has certainly been a pleasure working with Denver Global Products and their management team; this is a huge win for Lincoln County, and we are proud to have them join our existing industry base,” Gettys said.

There is no word yet on where the company plans to construct its new Lincoln County manufacturing campus, but Gettys told the Times-News Tuesday that officials would likely be in negotiations on the exact location from now through the end of the year. Construction is expected to be under way on the permanent facilities by early 2013.

“Denver Global greatly appreciates all the support the company has received from Gov. Perdue, the state of North Carolina and Lincoln County,” stated Denver Global Products CEO Roger Leon. “Many of us live in Lincoln County, we started our company in Lincoln County and we are all pleased with the opportunity to continue to grow our business from our base here.”

LEDA Chairman Tom Anderson added, “We are very pleased they have determined that Lincoln County is the place where their needs would be best served.”

For more information about Denver Global Products, including job opportunities, visit www.denverglobal.com.

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