1,300 jobs coming to Wilmington plant

A manufacturer of railroad tank cars says it is adding 1,300 jobs in Wilmington.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office announced Thursday that Vertex Rail will add the new jobs at the former Terex Crane facility in Wilmington. The company will manufacture tank cars to transport crude oil from North Dakota, Texas and other energy-producing states.

Massachusetts-based Vertex, which plans to be operating two shifts by January, said in a statement it will be hiring assemblers and fitters, welders, and painters as well as personnel with expertise in engineering, logistics, quality assurance, sales, safety and management.

According to the company, workers will receive an average annual pay of approximately $40,000. Job postings on, the state’s employment website, show pay will range from $13 to $27 an hour depending on the position.

The Wilmington Star News reported that Vertex is receiving no upfront cash incentives.

The company will work with Cape Fear Community College on customized training programs and will hire graduates from the college’s traditional degree and certificate programs.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, the North Carolina Departments of Transportation and Commerce are contributing $305,000 from the Economic Development Fund for restoring the River Road crossing and signals. The Rail Division of DOT is contributing $200,000 from the Freight Rail & Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Fund to improve the rail spur. Money for the fund comes from dividends received by the state from the N.C. Railroad Co.

Vertex announced earlier this year that it would expand in both Worcester, Mass., and Wilmington. The company has plans to retire old rail cars and manufacture new ones to meet proposed Canadian and U.S. safety rules for tank cars that carry flammable energy products.

The company says the Wilmington plant can support production of up to 50 tank cars per week.

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