04/17/12 — It's official: 44 jobs on the way

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It's official: 44 jobs on the way

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 17, 2012 2:20 PM

Wayne County commissioners cleared the way this morning for a Pikeville company to expand its operation, add 44 jobs and make at least a $4.211 million investment over the next three years.

Commissioners, following a brief public hearing, approved an incentive package not to exceed $100,000 for Joseph T. Ryerson & Son Inc., a leading distributor and processor of metals.

The approval comes a day after Gov. Bev Perdue announced that the company would receive a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. The grant requires a local match. Mike Haney, existing industry specialist for the Wayne County Development Alliance, said the grant helped to ensure the company would stay in Wayne County after both South Carolina and Virginia tried to lure it away.

The company plans to extend its Pikeville facility by moving into a second building to be built on N.C. 581 and doubling the size of its fabrication facility.

Salaries for the new jobs will vary by job function, but the average wage will be $33,540. The average annual wage in Wayne County is $29,848. The 44 jobs are expected to provide about $1.475 million annually in salaries and benefits.

"This new facility along with the burning and fabrication equipment will give us the resources necessary to grow our plate and fabrication business in the Southeast," said Brad Ford, Ryerson's vice-president and general manager for the Carolinas Virginia Market. "Wayne County is an ideal location with its proximity to steel suppliers, highways and a solid labor pool."

"One of the best ways to create new jobs is to create an environment that helps existing companies expand," Ms. Perdue said. "Ryerson is expanding in Wayne County because our investments in education, transportation and infrastructure have built a skilled and motivated workforce and a supportive business climate, especially for the manufacturing industry."

Ryerson, a Chicago, Ill.-based company, processes and distributes metals that include stainless and carbon steel, aluminum products, brass and copper.

The company sells these metals in sheets, coils, plates, bars and other shapes as needed by their customers.

Ryerson also fabricates parts for various industries including rail cars, heavy equipment, agricultural equipment, wind turbines and others. In addition to the Pikeville facility, the company has service centers in Charlotte, Greensboro and Youngsville.

The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

However, there is a performance clause in the contract, meaning that Ryerson must fulfill its employee and investment obligations in order to get paid. If those obligations are not fulfilled, then any funding that is provided will be required to be repaid.

"None of the funding will be paid up front. It will be paid out increments of 25 percent over the next four years as employees are hired and investments made," Haney said. "If they fail to meet the job creation or investment, then they will get no money at all."

He added that, if all goes according to plan, the county will recoup its investment through the company's tax payments over the next three years.

For more information about Ryerson, including job opportunities, visit www.ryerson.com.