Ply Gem Launches Expansion in Columbus County

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Columbus County will see the creation of 145 new building-product manufacturing jobs over the coming three years as Ply Gem Industries, a maker of doors, railings and veneers, undertakes a $15.5 million expansion at its site in Fair Bluff. Governor Pat McCrory announced the news in early May.

In seeking a location for its most recent expansion, the Cary, N.C.-based company also considered a site in Virginia. Grants from the North Carolina Rural Center and the Governor’s One North Carolina Fund helped steer the project to Fair Bluff, according to Gary Lanier, economic development director in Columbus County. “The company’s facility here was previously under-utilized,” Mr. Lanier says. Had Ply Gem not selected the Fair Bluff site for expansion, its facility there would have risked closure. “From our perspective we were fighting tooth and nail to get the project because if we did not get it, those 30 jobs already here would likely go away.”

Along with the Town of Fair Bluff and the Columbus County Committee of 100, North Carolina’s Southeast assisted in helping meet the local matching requirement for the One North Carolina grant. New positions at his facility will average $45,730 in annual salary, sharply higher than Columbus County’s $31,605 overall yearly average. The firm’s parent, Ply Gem Holdings, was founded in 1943. It made an Initial Public Offering in May of this year with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.