Building Products Leader Selects Sampson County

(Clinton, NC) - April 9, 2007-Houston-based Trussway, Ltd., a leading supplier of wood-based trusses for the nation's multi-unit residential complexes, has selected Clinton, North Carolina, for the site of a manufacturing operation that will serve builders across the Carolinas. The firm selected an existing 25,000-sq.-ft. building formerly occupied by 84 Lumber, where it will invest $1 million.

"Our strategic access to many of America's fastest-growing cities, proximity to major Interstate highways, and assertive local and regional leadership have again paid off in the form of new manufacturing jobs and industrial investment," says John Swope, director of economic development for Sampson County. The Trussway's operations in the county will begin with a 30-person manufacturing workforce, but its headcount will ultimately be twice that as the new plant reaches full capacity.

Sampson County's convenience to high-growth cities such as Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Charleston and Wilmington was a key factor behind the company's decision. "The Clinton plant will allow us to reduce shipping times to our customers and develop new accounts by placing us closer to key markets," explains David Neves, vice president and Eastern Division general manager of Trussway, Ltd. Builders in those areas were previously served by Trussway plants in Atlanta and Northern Virginia. Trussway is a leader in building products for multi-family residences, employing 1,400 nationwide.

Mr. Swope, who began discussions with company officials last October, said financial support from municipal, county and regional entities helped push the project toward fruition. The company will receive $33,000 in incentives from Sampson County and $17,000 from the City of Clinton. North Carolina's Southeast Partnership, the not-for-profit sister organization of North Carolina's Southeast Commission, is granting the company $25,000 in private funds to support its ramp-up in Clinton. Trussways learned about the county through an Internet search that led it to the Commission's Web site, Mr. Swope adds. "North Carolina's Southeast Commission played a vital role in bringing us this project, and later ushering to a successful conclusion," he says.

The arrival of Trussway, whose Sampson County plant will produce large roof and floor trusses, provides added momentum to the Southeast Region's building-materials cluster. In 2004, building-product firms were identified as a primary driver of the region's future economic growth. The exhaustive study, entitled "Sharpening Our Focus: Growing Jobs and Investment with Cluster-Based Tools," called for stepped-up marketing and outreach by regional developers to building-products firms. "In today's business world, companies prefer to locate near their suppliers, buyers and strategic partners," explains Ken Allen, Fayetteville-based regional marketing representative for the N.C. Department of Commerce. "Clusters, as such, are the central ordering principle for modern regional economies."

Established by the North Carolina's General Assembly in 1993, North Carolina's Southeast Commission is a public-private marketing partnership representing eleven counties from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sandhills. Since its creation, it has helped bring nearly $726 million in industrial investment to the region and assisted in the creation of over 7,600 new jobs. For more information, visit www.ncse.org.