Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company has been awarded a Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC) grant to support the relocation of its foundry operation from Mecklenburg County to Stanly County. In modernizing its production of cast iron soil pipe, fittings and castings, the company will retain at least 1,050 jobs in North Carolina as it invests $325 million in Stanly County. At least 400 of these jobs will be based at the new foundry in Stanly County.
The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee (EIC) approved the JMAC grant earlier today. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry could receive up to $15 million over the ten-year life of the JMAC, with the first grant payment scheduled to be in 2022. Under conditions of the grant, the company must invest at least $325 million at its new site in Stanly County in addition to maintaining the workforce from its current operations in North Carolina.
The state-of-the-art facility in Oakboro is expected to commence commercial operations in early 2024 and to have a major economic impact, with jobs there paying at least 140% of the average wage in Stanly County. Stanly County’s 2020 overall average wage is $34,211, and 140% of that average is $47,895. The JMAC agreement also requires the company to maintain average wage of at least 140% of the average county wage at its other two North Carolina locations in Mecklenburg County and Union County. The Mecklenburg County 2020 average wage is $68,070, and 140% of that average is $95,298. The Union County 2020 average wage is 44,989, and 140% of that average is $62,984.
The JMAC program, established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2007, provides sustained annual grants to businesses that are a major employer, large manufacturing employer, or a heritage manufacturing employer and meet the requirements of North Carolina General Statute § 143B-437.012. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is a heritage manufacturing employer having been in business since 1901 and having operated a cast iron foundry in downtown Charlotte continuously since that time. The JMAC Fund is intended to encourage retention of significant numbers of high-paying, high-quality jobs and large-scale capital investment that will modernize processes and provide more globally competitive projects.
In addition, the JMAC program specifies that a heritage manufacturing employer must be operating in a Tier 3 county at the time it applies for the grant and the business is relocating to a Tier 2 county with a population of less than 63,000. Stanly County ranks as a Tier 2 county under the state’s county distress tier system.
Charlotte Pipe has also been awarded a One North Carolina Fund grant in the amount of $500,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Railroad, the Golden LEAF Foundation, Duke Energy, the Aberdeen Carolina Western Railroad, Stanly County, the Town of Oakboro, and the Stanly County Economic Development Commission