Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cigarette Tube Manufacturer to Bring 35 Jobs, $6.7 Million Investment to Rockingham County State Grant Helps Commonwealth Brands Inc. Expand in Reidsville

Feb 4, 2010

Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Commonwealth Brands Inc., a national manufacturer of tobacco and tobacco products, will expand its operations in Rockingham County.  The company will invest $6.7 million and create 35 jobs in 2010.  The announcement was made possible in part by a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. 

“We continue to work hard to create jobs across our state,” said Gov. Perdue. “North Carolina is a great location for international companies looking to expand.  Our top business climate and our tremendous workforce continues to be very attractive to growing companies.”    

Commonwealth Brands Inc. (CBI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group in England, manufactures and distributes blended and fine cut tobaccos, cigarettes and cigarette tubes.  CBI, headquartered in Kentucky, owns and operates the former American Tobacco facility in Reidsville, where 224 people are employed. 

The company plans to expand its Reidsville operations by adding a new product line for cigarette tubes, which are currently manufactured in Canada and will be sold across the U.S. and Canada.  While salaries will vary by job function, the new positions will pay an average annual wage of $37,571, not including benefits, which is higher than the Rockingham County average annual wage of $30,472.         

“The Reidsville site was chosen based on several factors, the most significant of which was the cost of doing business.  With the help of state and local agencies, and with the cooperation of Local 192-T of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union,  the Reidsville management team was able to put a competitive proposal together that resulted in this exciting decision,” said Frank Howell, CBI’s vice president of manufacturing.    “The expanded production operation will bring further investment into our existing facility and create great job opportunities for local residents.  This is great news for the Reidsville factory and for the surrounding area.”    

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. 

“During this tough economy, North Carolina must continue to make the critical investments to create jobs and grow existing companies,” said Rep. Nelson Cole. “ I look forward to the many more jobs we will attract due to our very dedicated and capable workforce.” 

North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate.  Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state will work aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.  

Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 40,000 jobs and $7 billion in investment have been created since 2001.  Other project partners include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Department of Revenue, N.C. Community Colleges, Rockingham County, the City of Reidsville and the Rockingham County Partnership for Economic & Tourism Development. 

For more information on Commonwealth Brands Inc., including job opportunities with the company, go to: