Manufacturer’s expansion promises new jobs in Person

Dec. 10, 2013 @ 05:58 PM

An Israel-based manufacturer of fabrics used in diapers, wet wipes and other products plans to expand its Person County plant, adding 60 jobs and investing $35 million over three years.

Spuntech Industries is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of spunlace fabrics used in products sold by The Clorox Co. and other companies. The company has four production lines at three different facilities. Two of the production facilities are in Israel, and one is in Roxboro. 

The new investment announced Tuesday will be for a fifth production line at the Roxboro plant, which currently employs 94 people.

Company CEO Gidi Krasny said he hopes to see the line operational in 2015 after the new equipment arrives, and after an expansion of the Roxboro facility is complete.

“The thing is, we see great opportunity in the North American market,” Krasny said, speaking after a ceremony at the Homestead Festival House in Timberlake. The event included Gov. Pat McCrory and other state and local leaders.

Krasny said the company’s fabrics are used in diapers, medical supplies, for cleaning and other products, and they’re also trying to sell more for technical applications. This year, he said, revenues are expected to be between $130 and $140 million. The new line could add as much as $70 million in revenues, he said.

The company first announced that it was coming to Roxboro in 2005. It located in an existing facility previously occupied by Wolverine Tube. Krasny said the company was looking for a location on the East Coast as it receives raw materials from abroad, and needed access to a port.

He also said they needed a building large enough for their operations, and wanted to be close to customers. He said the area’s history in textiles was also “a very important part” of allowing the company to take advantage of existing manpower.

“We have people who understand manufacturing,” Gov. McCrory said Tuesday, touting manufacturing and agriculture as two industries that he believes are the “future of our state.”
They’re old industries that have become high-tech, he said, adding that he believes manufacturing is competitive here because of the skills of the workforce and rising labor costs elsewhere.

Spuntech’s expansion in Roxboro is supported by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $235,000. The grant is contingent upon proof of job creation and receipt of a local funding match.

Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds.

Salaries are expected to vary by job function, but the average annual wage will be $43,010 plus benefits. Person County’s average annual wage is $33,717.