Video of announcement courtesy of Chowan Herald.
EDENTON, NC – Nebraska Plastics, Inc, a vinyl fence manufacturer, announced plans Monday to invest in a $1 million manufacturing facility that will create 22 new jobs in Chowan County.
Headquartered in Cozad, Nebraska, the company has remained a family-owned business for 75 years and supplies products to customers in all 50 states and overseas.
During a ceremony Monday at Edenton Town Hall, Nebraska Plastics’ president and CEO Paul German spoke of the small town values that attracted the company to Chowan County.
“I really am passionate about small towns,” he said. “Our community where we live (Cozad, Nebraska) is a little bit smaller than Edenton with a population of just under 4,000 people. We really feel that is one big reason for our success. We just love being involved in small town America where you find that the education, the work ethic, employment so and so forth is fantastic in small towns all across the United States. So when we had the opportunity to open a plant in another small town, we got excited about it.”
Edenton Mayor Jimmy Stallings said, “This is a very important day for Edenton and Chowan County – we are happy and proud to be a part of this.”
A performance-based grant of $60,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Nebraska Plastics’ expansion to North Carolina.
The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment.
All One N.C. grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“This is great news for Chowan County,” said N.C. Senator Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan. “The business community and residents will be greatly enriched by these new jobs. We are ready to support the company’s expansion in any way we can.”
Nebraska Plastics Inc. started in 1945 producing plastic irrigation products for agriculture. The company first invented vinyl fencing in 1978 under the brand name Country Estate Fence.
Along with vinyl fence and railing, Nebraska Plastics continues to produce a line of above ground and below ground PVC irrigation pipe for agriculture, along with products that can be utilized by the hog industry.
“This is the beginning of a great opportunity for us,” German said. “I really want to build this company here so that you guys are proud of it and that it’s a big part of your community too.”
German praised the region’s infrastructure with its access to highways, airports, railroads and port facilities in Norfolk, Virginia, as reasons for choosing Chowan County.
German said the opportunity to produce Country Estate Vinyl Products in Edenton provides a unique advantage to supply the East Coast’s growing demand by producing products closer to the company’s customers.
“We are excited to be a part of the community of Edenton,” he said. “Our customers will enjoy the same quality products they are used to. Having two locations now allows us to improve customer service while reducing freight costs.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company’s decision.
Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland presented German with a gold leaf China plate, made in North Carolina, printed with the state’s motto, “To be rather than to seem.”
“North Carolina has the fifth largest manufacturing economy in the United States,” said Copeland, a native of Hertford. “With more than 170 million customers within a day’s drive and the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast, North Carolina is a great state for manufacturers to expand their operations.”
In addition to N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Town of Edenton, Chowan County, and Edenton Chowan Partnership.
Copeland praised the local leaders for their ability to see and create the future.
“It doesn’t happen by accident, but happens by people who are committed,” he said. “Edenton is a magnificent representation of leadership and what it has done over the years and continues to do here.”
Chowan County Commission Chairwoman Patti Kersey presented two books to German that feature history and photos of the county – “Between the River and the Sound: the Architectural Heritage of Chowan County, North Carolina” by Thomas Butchko and Bradley Barker and “Hospitality Edenton Style” by Sally Francis Kehayes and Gay McClelland Chatham with photos by Kip Shaw.
“On behalf of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners, we want to welcome Nebraska Plastics, the German family and friends to our community,” she said. “This is now your east Carolina homeplace.”
During one visit between county leaders and German within the past year, Kersey said, “You shared that and felt a connection with Chowan’s heritage and agriculture as well as our friendly Edenton community. You said it reminded you of Cozad in Nebraska. I purposely did not say goodbye to you all because I was hoping that we would see you again. Happily, that is the case.”
The company will bring at least 22 jobs to Chowan County. Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average for all new positions could reach up to $36,591. The current average annual wage in Chowan County is $34,112.
The College of Albemarle trains workers and provides support that companies like Nebraska Plastics need to flourish in northeastern North Carolina.
“The workforce is the coin of the realm these days,” COA President Jack Bagwell said. “The ability to provide a workforce is so important for companies like yours Mr. German, so we thank you for being here. … We are excited to be working with Nebraska Plastics. We are going to be a good partner to you; you let us know how we can help you. Through College of the Albemarle and North Carolina’s community college system, we will step up and stand at the ready to assist you in any way that we can.”
North Carolina is open for business.
“Manufacturing companies like Nebraska Plastics choose to grow in North Carolina because of our strong economy, great quality of life, and especially for our talented workforce,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a press release.