Sampson County Site is Chosen by International Metalworks Firm

Clinton, NC) - March 19, 2007 - Southeastern North Carolina's emergence as a leading global destination for metalworking companies will enjoy continued momentum with the announcement this month that a major South American producer of aluminum disks would establish its first U.S. outpost in Sampson County, N.C. The arrival of Aludisc, LLC, to a 181,000-sq.-ft building in Clinton will bring an investment of at least $3.3 million to the county.


Aludisc, the sister company of Caracas, Venezuela's Alumino del Centro, C.A., will employ a 70-person workforce at the Clinton site. "The company's operations will utilize employees will skills ranging from metalworking to machinists, engineers and product designers," says John Swope, director of economic development for Sampson County.


Aludisc will manufacture a variety of aluminum discs used in food and beverage cans, fire extinguishers and personal-care product containers. About 75 percent of the plant's product will be shipped to overseas buyers through the Port of Wilmington, according to Jimmy Yokeley, director of distribution services at the North Carolina Ports Authority. "They will also import weekly container shipments of aluminum coils-the plant's raw material-from Venezuela and Brazil," says Mr. Yokeley, who worked closely with company officials and local, state and regional economic developers on the project.


Helping establish the company's operations in Clinton will be a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina fund, an amount that will be matched over the coming five years through financial support from the county and city. Mr. Swope credits Ken Allen, regional marketing representative for the N.C. Department of Commerce, for his leadership in obtaining the grant. "A $25,000 job creation grant from North Carolina's Southeast Partnership was also key," according to Mr. Swope. Those funds, raised privately through an arm of North Carolina's Southeast Commission, are applied immediately as hiring begins. "Companies want to see as much help during the first year as they can," he explains. Mr. Swope also cites the Southeast Commission's role in leading Aludisc to the county. The company, which had also considered possible locations in Florida, learned about Sampson County through the Commission's Web site.


"We're proud of the fact that this established international company has selected Sampson County," says Kermit Williamson, a Clinton businessman who is vice chairman of North Carolina's Southeast Commission. Aludisc's arrival is evidence that the region is firmly positioned on the winning side of the global economy. The firm's move also reinforces the Southeast Region's focus on the metalworks "cluster," an industry target identified in an exhaustive survey of regional economic assets conducted two years ago. It found, among other things, that the region's unique geography, sea- and land-based transportation systems, and skilled workforce were ideal complements to globally oriented firms involved in metalworking. "This project demonstrates that our cluster strategy is yielding exciting opportunities across our region," Mr. Williamson says.


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 secure more than $718 million in investment for the region and assisted in the creation of nearly 7,500 new jobs. For more information, visit www.ncse.org.