RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Unilever United States Inc, a manufacturer of personal care products, will expand its operations in Hoke County. The company plans to add 21 jobs and invest $29.9 million over the next three years in Raeford. The project was made possible in part by a $63,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
“My top priority is creating jobs,” said Gov. Perdue. “Our world-class workforce and strong business climate makes North Carolina an ideal place for manufacturers like Unilever to thrive and grow.”
Unilever produces personal care products, including anti-perspirants and deodorants, body and hair care products under the brand names of Axe, Dove, Caress, Degree, TRESemmé, St. Ives and Suave. Its Raeford facility is the largest anti-perspirants and deodorants stick plant in the world. Unilever currently employs more than 320 people in North Carolina.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual salary for the new jobs will be $32,965, plus benefits. The Hoke County average annual wage is $24,648.
“Unilever’s Raeford facility will make effective use of this generous grant by providing the necessary training to our new hires as part of our site expansion,” said Georgia Szewczak, Raeford Supply Leader. “The support of the One North Carolina Fund program will help further drive our own competitiveness in the market as well as provide jobs and additional tax revenue to the local region. We are grateful for this support.”
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
“I’m very pleased to see Unilever expanding its facility in Raeford and creating new jobs,” said Rep. Garland Pierce of Wagram. Our business-friendly climate allows companies like Unilever to expand and thrive.”
North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate. Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state works aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investment have been created since 2001. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Hoke County and the City of Raeford.