Lenoir County commissioners optimistic about new company, jobs expected to create

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Grupporeco to create 110 new jobs in Lenoir County

KINSTON, N.C. – Global manufacturer of household appliance components, Grupporeco, will create 110 new jobs in Lenoir County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.

The company will invest $28 million to build its first manufacturing facility for dishwasher components in North America. On Wednesday, Lenoir County commissioners voted on three resolutions that will officially bring the company to Kinston and get the plans started.

It is positive news that Grupporeco has selected Lenoir County for its first expansion in the United States,” said Cooper. “North Carolina maintains a manufacturing legacy with a highly-skilled workforce combined with our prime East Coast location and robust transportation infrastructure that attracts global companies.”

Commissioners are optimistic about the job creation the company will create and the hope that it will help keep young people in the area with good-paying jobs.

“This helps us in retaining those bright kids who think they have to move away to get those opportunities and income. Today is a success,” said Linda Rouse Sutton, Lenoir County commissioners chairman.

Grupporeco has been a market leader in engineering and manufacturing household appliance components for nearly 60 years. Originated and having its headquarters in Italy, and based in Italy and Poland, the company produces and distributes coated dishwasher baskets, steel wire and tube components, aluminum tubing, and components for major household appliance companies. Grupporeco’s new subsidiary in Lenoir County, RECO U.S. Inc., will allow product development and manufacturing closer to its U.S. clients, consistently contributing to the development of a stronger local supply chain.

“Grupporeco is pleased to announce the decision to locate our new U.S. plant in Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina,” said Grupporeco and RECO US Inc. CEO and President Vincenzo Locatelli. “The COVID pandemic has made this a challenging and time-consuming process, but the support of the authorities and community has been outstanding, and we’re excited to have the project start very soon. The U.S. is a key market for our growth and we look forward to cooperating intensively to make Grupporeco’s arrival a success for our company and the local stakeholders.”

“With options all over the world, it gives us great confidence to know that international companies are choosing North Carolina for their global expansion,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “North Carolina not only has the largest manufacturing workforce in the southeastern United States, but it is also is heavily invested in developing workforce systems that create a diverse pipeline of talent for the new and growing companies.”

It looks like an empty lot now but soon work will begin on building the facility. Sutton said she’s glad to see the business come to Lenoir County.

“They had thought about China, Asia, somewhere like that,” she said. “Then their buyer said you need to go to North America. It was exciting to think we were that kind of caliber of location they were looking for.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support Grupporeco’s decision to expand to North Carolina. The average annual salary for the new jobs is $39,854, which is above Lenoir County’s overall average annual wage of $39,839. The new positions are anticipated to bring $4.3 million of annual payroll growth to the region.

Grupporeco’s expansion will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $339 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $918,000 spread over 12 years.

State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Grupporeco to Lenoir County,” said N.C. Senator Jim Perry. “Eastern North Carolina has a world-class workforce to fill these positions and capable communities to support the unique needs of manufacturers in every industry.”

“This announcement is outstanding news for our region and the state of North Carolina,” said N.C. Representative Chris Humphrey. “Grupporeco’s investment is a reminder of the great opportunities and quality of life that rural communities offer global businesses. We’re proud to partner with local and state officials to welcome them to our community.”

Mark Pope, senior vice president of the North Carolina Global Transpark, said the annual salaries will also be competitive.

“They are above the average wage for Lenoir County and our region, that is another plus,” Pope said. “If you look at benefits and wages, that is a company you want to have in your area.”

In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region, Lenoir County, Lenoir Committee of 100, North Carolina’s Southeast, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and City of Kinston.

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