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Franklin Tubular Products to invest $4 million in Franklin

Press release from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory, shared March 5:

RALEIGH —  Today, Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced that Franklin Tubular Products Inc., a manufacturer of manipulated tubular assemblies, will locate its operations in Macon County. The company plans to create 121 jobs and invest $4 million over the next three years in Franklin.

“My administration is committed to partnering with businesses to help them succeed,” said McCrory. “We must do more to align educational preparation and training with the needs of our manufacturers and other industries.”

Franklin Tubular Products is a subsidiary of Tricorn Group PLC. As a part of the project, Tricorn acquired the facility, business and assets of Whitley Products. The Franklin facility will continue to manufacture fabricated metal tubes. There are currently more than 100 people employed at that plant.

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“North Carolina has a proud heritage in manufacturing,” said Sharon Decker, N.C. Secretary of Commerce. “We want more ‘Made in NC’ products to be sold around the country and around the world, so we are pleased Franklin Tubular Products is locating its operations in Macon County.”

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wages for the new jobs will be $32,102, plus benefits. The Macon County average annual wage is $29,516.

“Following the establishment of our manufacturing facility in China announced last year, this acquisition represents a further and very significant step in the Tricorn business achieving a considerable multi-site global business, delivering global tube solutions to a global OEM customer base,” said Phil Lee, group finance director of Tricorn Group PLC. “We have already started to establish close working relationships with Whitley’s U.S. customer base and this is an ideal platform from which to increase sales in the U.S. for the Franklin facility.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $56,000. The grant is contingent upon proof of job creation and receipt of a local funding match. 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.

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“It is wonderful news to learn that Franklin Tubular Products has purchased the business and certain assets from Whitley Products to keep that operation and its 120 jobs in Franklin,” said Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin). “It is my understanding that an additional $4 million will be invested in the near future to modernize the plant. This achievement is the result of a collaborative effort by Gov. McCrory’s office, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Macon County Board of Commissioners, the Town of Franklin, the Macon Economic Development Corporation and AdvantageWest. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when the appropriate stakeholders work together.”

“I am proud to see North Carolina Governor McCrory and the Department of Commerce, along with Macon County Commissioners, working together to bring jobs to Western North Carolina,” said Rep. Roger West (R-Marble).

Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Macon County, Macon County Economic Development Commission, AdvantageWest and the Town of Franklin.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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