Grant to Columbus County to Aid Manufacturer's Expansion


RALEIGH -- The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center announces a grant of $194,504 to Columbus County. The grant will support building renovations for the expansion of Ply Gem Industries' manufacturing facility in Fair Bluff.

Under the grant, the company has committed to creating at least 39 full-time jobs but says it anticipates adding 127 at the plant and others at its headquarters. The Fair Bluff plant currently employs 32 workers. The jobs will offer an average salary of $45,241 and benefits that include 70 percent of the cost of health insurance. The total project cost is $1,442,451.

Ply Gem currently employs 99 workers in three North Carolina locations, which include the Fair Bluff plant, a second manufacturing facility in Fayetteville and the corporate headquarters in Cary. It also has 20 other manufacturing locations across the United States.

The award was made through the Building Reuse and Restoration Grants Program. Under the programs, grants may be used to prepare vacant buildings for use by job-generating businesses and to support the expansion and renovation of buildings occupied by manufacturers, distributors or related industries if that work leads to new, permanent jobs. The program is made possible by appropriations of the N.C. General Assembly.

The center's board of directors approved the grant Feb. 27.

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center operates a multifaceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.


Contact: Garnet Bass, 919-250-4314