The Austria-based Egger Group plans to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Davidson County and create 770 jobs there over the next 15 years, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Egger, which makes the wood products used in construction, flooring and furniture, plans to invest $700 million in the facility, which is planned for 220 acres in Lexington. Lexington is about 100 miles west of Raleigh.
The jobs and investment will come in stages, with the first phase creating 400 jobs over six years.
Construction on the facility is slated to begin in 2018.
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If the company makes its hiring and investment goals, it will receive up to $5.3 million in state economic development incentives over a 12-year-period and $2.5 million from the One North Carolina fund. The One NC fund requires a matching grant from local governments. North Carolina beat out South Carolina and Georgia for the plant.
“Having our own production facility in North America is vital for Egger to tap into the market and become a significant player for the growing demand in the U.S. for wood-based materials,” Walter Schiegl, Egger’s chief technology officer and a member of the executive board, said in a statement. “Our sales activities in the U.S. have already proved our product range is highly attractive for architects, designers, wholesalers and industry customers. With the Davidson County production site, we will be able to enhance our customer relationships, ensuring product availability and speed of delivery. Our goal is to position ourselves as the leading brand for wood-based solutions in the U.S., as we are already in Europe.”
The jobs will pay an average annual salary of $40,000, compared with Davidson County’s current average annual wage of $36,836, according to the Department of Commerce.
In announcing the jobs, Gov. Roy Cooper noted that furniture making is part of the state’s legacy. The Lexington facility will be a particleboard manufacturing plant. The company plans to purchase wood from North Carolina suppliers and work with regional sawmills, according to a press release.
Egger is a family-owned company, based in Tyrol, Austria, that has 17 plants and 25 sales offices worldwide. It employs 8,200 people worldwide.