09/25/08 — 102 jobs on the way

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102 jobs on the way

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 25, 2008 1:38 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Local and state officials Wednesday announced that Triangle Spring, a division of Triangle Suspension Systems, will open a manufacturing plant in Mount Olive to make heavy-duty truck suspension springs.

News-Argus/Steve Herring

The IMPulse manufacturing plant on Old Mount Olive Highway will share space with Triangle Spring, a member of the Marmon Group.

The company will invest nearly $6.2 million and create 102 jobs over the next three years.

Salaries will vary, but the average annual wage will be $30,196, not including benefits, company officials said. That is more than the Wayne County average annual wage of $27,664.

Triangle Spring is a member of the Marmon Group, parent company of IMPulse, NC, and will share IMPulse's building on the Old Mount Olive Highway just north of town.

The company, with headquarters in Pennsyvlania, manufactures truck springs for the medium- and heavy-duty truck aftermarket.

Mount Olive will be the company's plant to manufacture heavy-duty aftermarket truck suspension springs. It will be the only plant in the U.S. to manufacture this type of product, which will be sold around the world.

The Wayne County Economic Development Alliance and Gov. Mike Easley made the joint announcement.

The expansion was made possible in part by a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. Wayne County will be asked to come up with a $100,000 match. No town funds have been sought.

Company representative Don Moore said Triangle Springs should be operational by the second quarter of 2009. A job fair will be held in December for potential employees.

Economic Development Alliance President Joanna Thompson said Wayne Community College has been contacted about providing training classes for employees.

The Economic Development Alliance, Ms. Thompson said, worked directly with the N.C. Department of Commerce to secure the grant.

"As chairman of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce, I welcome Triangle Spring to Mount Olive," said Ernie Taylor. "It will be a great asset to the Town of Mount Olive and they are bringing in new good-paying jobs that will fill the void left in the closure of Helix Poly.

"This is good news for Mount Olive," Mount Olive Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. said. "We lost one industry (Helix Poly) now we are getting one back to make us even but we want to get more. One thing people need to understand is that Joanna is listed among the top seven industrial recruiters in the state. She has worked really hard to put people in buildings in Wayne County that are vacant. That includes Helix Poly. We have had several inquiries and I hope at least one will visit."

Moore said the company had looked at a number of states. The company heard from Marmon about the space available at the IMPulse building.

"It was too big for them, but just right for us," he said. "It helps us and helps them. We like the state and the people we have dealt with on the state and local levels. It has been a comfortable experience. We are excited to begin the process. There is plenty of land to add on."

"We have worked steadily on this project for eight months," Economic Develop-ment Alliance Chairman Ed Wilson said. "We knew it was a good match for Mount Olive, and we are just glad all the pieces fell into place at the right time."

"North Carolina ranked first or second in 10 out of 11 categories we evaluated in six states," said John Howard, president of Triangle Suspension Systems. "The incentive package was a very important consideration, as well as suitable buildings and the support of the local community with identification, selection and training of qualified skilled employees."

The One North Carolina Fund provides financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. It has helped to create more than 30,000 jobs and $6 billion in investment since 2001.