Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Celgard to Add 289 Jobs, Invest $91 Million Company to Expand in Charlotte & Build New Plant in Concord

Jan 20, 2010

Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that Charlotte-based Celgard LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Polypore International Inc. (NYSE: PPO), will create 289 jobs and invest a total of $91 million in expanded and new infrastructure in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties over the next five years.

The company is a global leader in developing and producing specialty membranes used predominantly in the lithium battery industry. The expansion is designed to increase production capacity to supply lithium battery manufacturers focused on the Electric Drive Vehicle industry.

“Celgard is an innovative, forward-thinking North Carolina company that is helping us realize the promise of a greener economy,” Perdue said. “These are exactly the types of jobs I envisioned when we started building the number of ‘green-collar’ jobs in our state.”

Celgard plans to expand its Charlotte campus, which currently employs about 390 workers, and add 80 jobs. A second facility will be built in Concord, which will employ 209 workers by the end of 2014, contingent on approval of local incentives. While salaries will vary by job function, the overall average wage for the 289 new jobs will be $56,960 not including benefits. That is higher than both the Cabarrus annual average of $32,396 and the Mecklenburg average of $48,776.

 Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state continues to work aggressively to create well-paying jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.

“After conducting a thorough, multi-state review of potential sites, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our Charlotte facility and the construction of a new facility in Concord, North Carolina,” said Mitch Pulwer, vice president and general manager of Celgard. “This region offers a skilled workforce and solid transportation infrastructure, and is in close proximity to several engineering universities and laboratories that offer great technical capabilities we can leverage. 

“We are thankful for the support we have received from Gov. Perdue, the North Carolina congressional delegation, and state and local governments that will enable us to accelerate our investments in production capacity and create jobs here in North Carolina as we prepare to meet the increasing demand of the Electric Drive Vehicle market.”

In August 2009, Celgard was selected for a grant of approximately $49 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for this expansion. The grant is part of $2 billion in federal Recovery Act funds awarded to create jobs and advance the next generation of electric-powered vehicles. U.S. senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr and representatives Sue Myrick and Larry Kissell provided support and guidance to Celgard during the grant process.

“Celgard is creating 289 manufacturing jobs in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties and is investing in new infrastructure in our state,” said Sen. Hagan. “Celgard’s advanced battery component will power the cars of the future, and these green energy jobs are exactly what we're working to attract to North Carolina. I was proud to help ensure these jobs came to our state. The Recovery Act is spurring job growth – my No. 1 priority – in North Carolina, and I will continue working for our economic recovery.”

 “I am proud that we could help Celgard secure the Department of Energy grant to make this possible,” said Cong. Larry Kissell. “Celgard's expansion is the type of help the Recovery Act was meant to bring and why I'm proud I supported it.  This type of cooperation at all levels of government, along with private enterprise, is what will fuel our economic recovery.”

The state’s Economic Investment Committee today voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Celgard. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 65 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the 11 years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If Celgard meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for 11 years, the JDIG could yield up to       $4.6 million in maximum benefits for the company.

In addition, up to $1.5 million could be added to the state’s Industrial Development Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded in the state’s most economically prosperous counties such as Mecklenburg or Cabarrus, 25 percent of the grant is allocated to the Industrial Development Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous areas.

“During these tough economic times, it’s critical to make the right investments for job growth and company expansions,” said Sen. Charlie Dannelly.


“Our workforce continues to be one of the biggest assets as we work hard to grow jobs and create a climate where companies can expand,” said Rep. Kelly Alexander.   

The company also has been awarded $955,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, which assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects deemed by the governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. One North Carolina Fund grants require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.

Other partners that assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. departments of Commerce and Transportation, N.C. Community Colleges, cities of Charlotte and Concord, counties of Mecklenburg and Cabarrus, Charlotte Chamber and Cabarrus Chamber/Economic Development Corp.

For more information about Celgard, visit  For information about job opportunities, visit