American Fuji Seal Inc, part of Japan’s Fuji Seal International, will establish new production operations in Catawba County that will employ up to 101 workers by 2025, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The packaging solutions provider plans to invest $52 million at its new site in Hickory.
“Today’s announcement underscores how confident global companies are in North Carolina and its workforce, even during a global pandemic.” Governor Cooper said. “Companies like American Fuji Seal could start a new operation anywhere in the world, but they chose Catawba County because of our state’s proven track record of meeting the fast-changing needs of global industry.”
American Fuji Seal is a leading maker of shrink-sleeve labels, self-adhesive labels, spouted pouches and packaging machinery sold in the U.S. and other countries. Established in 1975, the company is based in Bardstown, Kentucky, and also maintains locations in Indiana and Mexico. American Fuji Seal is a group company of publicly-held Fuji Seal International, which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and traces its roots to its 1897 founding as Fujio Seisakusho. Fuji Seal International’s worldwide workforce currently totals more than 5,700.
"American Fuji Seal Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of our current North American operations by building a state-of-the-art facility in North Carolina, with a focus on a safe working environment and environmental stewardship,” said company President Akikazu Yada. “The expansion will further enhance our position in the market as a total packaging solutions provider and the global leader in Shrink Sleeve Labels. I would like to express gratitude for the support of various levels of local and state government for our project. We look forward to the future and success with all our partners and the surrounding community for years to come.”
New positions at American Fuji Seal’s Catawba County facility will include press operators, product engineers, quality control specialists, graphic artists, management staff, and other personnel. Annual salaries will average $48,744 in total cash compensation, creating a payroll impact of nearly $5 million per year for the region.
“Advanced manufacturers like American Fuji Seal find opportunity in North Carolina due to our talent, infrastructure, affordability and access to growing markets,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland. “Quality companies also appreciate our modern, ready-to-go industrial properties, which are the result of sound planning and investment by local leaders over the course of years.”
The arrival of American Fuji Seal will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 101 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes a potential reimbursement to the company of up to $765,000 over 12 years. State payments occur only after verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. Over the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow North Carolina’s GDP by nearly $169 million.
By law, projects supported by JDIG must result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a recipient company. The provision ensures all North Carolina communities benefit from the JDIG program. Moreover, American Fuji’s JDIG agreement also could move as much as $85,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance infrastructure upgrades in more economically challenged areas of the state in order to attract new jobs and businesses.
"In welcoming American Fuji Seal to Catawba County, we continue to expand the number of international companies in Trivium Corporate Center," said Randy Isenhower, chair, Catawba County Board of Commissioners and chair, Trivium Corporate Center Board of Directors. “Their choice to locate here is yet another indicator that our county and our workforce are attractive to Foreign Direct Investment, which increases local salaries, external investment and growth in GDP.”
“We understood at the beginning of the pandemic that the food industry, among others, is a critical and essential industry,” added Hickory Mayor Hank Guess. “American Fuji Seal represents the precise critical and essential advanced manufacturing industries that we envisioned locating in Trivium Corporate Center. We are proud to welcome American Fuji Seal to Hickory."
The North Carolina Department of Commerce worked closely with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) in a collaborative effort to facilitate American Fuji Seal’s selection of Catawba County. Other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Catawba County, Catawba Valley Community College, The City of Hickory, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and Duke Energy.