Australian plastics manufacturer Era Polymer Corporation plans to open its first U.S. industrial facility in Gaston County, creating 20 new jobs in the area and promising to invest $9.2 million in the town of Stanley.
According to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office, the new jobs come with an average annual wage of $66,250 – nearly $30,000 more than the average wage in Gaston County, which is $38,780.
Cooper also said a performance-based grant of $50,000 from the One North Carolina Fund was part of the deal with Era Polymer. The money, which will be matched by a grant from the local Gaston County government, will help the manufacturer move to the state and is contingent on the company’s ability to create and maintain the 20 jobs for North Carolinians. Era Polymer will also have to meet a threshold of investment with at least $8 million put into the town as part of the agreement.
Era Polymers is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and produces a line of various polyurethane products – or plastic materials – that are sold in over 20 countries around the world. The new manufacturing plant in Stanley will join four other facilities that produce Era Polymer products in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
President of Era Polymers George Papamanuel said strong sales growth in the U.S. prompted the company to seek expansion here. He also said support from state and local governments in North Carolina drove the company to choose Stanley.
“The support from local, county and state authorities made a compelling case to locate our facility in Stanley N.C.,” Papamanuel said. “This world-class facility is the ideal platform to support the next growth stage of our company.”
State Rep. John Torbett, who represents Gaston County, said the announcement comes after a team effort to bring the manufacturer to the area.
“Our community welcomes Era Polymers to North Carolina,” Torbett said. “Many people and organizations in our region came together to recruit this company and we stand ready to support them as they put down roots and grow here.”
Correction: The article previously listed company Era Polymer as Ely Polymer. The plastic manufacturer's name is Era Polymer.