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CTL Packaging Commits to 130 Jobs in Gastonia

The 131 local jobs promised Wednesday by CTL Packaging represent Gaston County’s largest job creation project in more than a year.

Average salary at the plant is expected to be more than $42,400 yearly, around $9,000 more than the average annual salary in Gaston County as measured by Gov. Bev Perdue’s office.

Exceeding the county average was a requirement for the $1.3 million Job Development Investment Grant awarded by the state.

A plastic tube manufacturer based in Spain, CTL Packaging plans to build a $58.5 million plant in Gastonia Technology Park. It is the largest industrial investment in Gaston since 2005.

Manufacturing employees will operate and service injection molding equipment. The building will house corporate offices, a customer service de-partment, a distribution division and a research and development piece in addition to the manufacturing plant.

Jobs will come gradually, with the full 131 workers scheduled to be in place in the first three years, said economic development officials.

It will likely require at least 30 to 40 people to initially run the plant.

Manuel Diez, managing director for CTL Packaging USA, said production should begin by mid-September 2012, a commitment he made to his board of directors.

Construction on the 226,000-square-foot facility is expected to start in early 2012. Diez said he hopes crews can begin clearing a 60-acre spot at the tech park within the next month.

The plastic tubes manufactured by CTL Packaging are used by food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care industries worldwide.

A conglomerate of companies, it has divisions in sectors from packaging to wine making, according to Diez.


Labor pool, money helped seal deal

The managing director for CTL Packaging said he previously settled on a different state for the plant but gave Gaston’s Economic Development Commission two weeks to change his mind.

“We feel at home already,” he said Wednesday.

Gastonia Mayor Jennie Stultz identified the second-choice state as Virginia, saying Diez had the presence of mind to come a little farther south.

In the end, according to Diez, the technology park site and the large pool of labor for the plastics industry helped make the decision.

He also commended local, regional and state economic development teams that worked to bring the plant to Gastonia.

Incentive packages included:

 60 acres of free land in the technology park from Gaston County

 A $500,000 site preparation grant from Gaston County

 Grants and waived fees to equal approximately $150,000 from Gastonia

 The Jobs Development Investment Grant of up to $1.3 million from North Carolina. It will equal a maximum of 65 percent of the income tax the company withholds from employees.


A vote of confidence

County and state leaders applauded Wednesday’s announcement, with Gov. Perdue saying the new plant is a vote of confidence in North Carolina and Gaston County, as well as in the state’s manufacturing sector.

“CTL understands we are the best place in the country to live, to play and to do business,” Perdue said.

County Commission Chairman Donnie Loftis thanked Diez on behalf of Gaston’s residents, saying city and county pro-business efforts led to the job creation and investment.

Stultz also noted the vote of confidence CTL cast in Gaston County when it committed to investing millions here.

She said packaging and presentation always help sell her on a purchase, a technique that Gastonia employs in attracting industry with its tech park and other amenities.

“When a guy comes to town and says he likes my packaging, that is good news,” quipped the mayor.

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