Uptown Greenville, NC


Pitt County Manufacturing Jobs on the Rise

By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

May 17, 2013 - Pitt County manufacturing has been through tough times in the last five years, but it is coming out of it with growth and expansion, the Pitt County Development Commission’s executive director said.

The commissioners were updated on the commission’s budget, its mission, investment history and job creation successes during a Wednesday morning budget presentation by executive director Wanda Yuhas.

More than 1,100 new jobs were created in the county between 2008 and 2012, Yuhas said.

“There’s a perception (job growth) has been essentially dead in Pitt County but that isn’t the case,” Commissioner Jimmy Garris, board chairman, said.

Eighty percent of the new job growth came from expanding local businesses such as Carolina Classic Catfish, The Roberts Company, Metrics, DSM and NACCO, Yuhas said.

The figures do not include last week’s announcement that ASMO North America, a manufacturer of wiper systems and radiators and other automobile parts, is expanding production and adding 200 jobs to its Greenville facility over the next eight years, Yuhas said.

Pitt County’s manufacturing sector experienced tough times over the last five years but has rebounded.

The county employed 6,864 people in manufacturing in 2007, Yuhas said. By 2009, the number dropped to 5,918, a loss of 946 positions.

By the third quarter of 2012, there were 6,862 manufacturing jobs in the county, she said.

The figures do not include new job growth in the county’s medical, retail or commercial sectors, Yuhas said.

The development commission recruits new industry and supports existing industry to promote job growth.

Incentives are a key component to its work.

Since 1987, the commission has provided more than $10 million in economic development expenditures and incentives, Yuhas said. That includes more than $5.6 million for utility enhancements and nearly a half-million dollars for road, rail and site improvements.

Thirty-nine businesses received incentives from the county since the late 1980s, resulting in the creation of 3,787 jobs, Yuhas said. A total of 11,808 jobs in the manufacturing, warehouse, distribution, call center and back office sectors have been created in the county since the late 1980s, Yuhas said.

“It’s important at this time that citizens realize how much has been done and accomplished,” Commissioner Beth Ward said.

Pitt County’s ad valorem tax rate is 68 cents per $100 valuation. Out of that, seven-tenths of one penny is dedicated to the development commission. It is expected to generate $807,913 in the coming fiscal year. State legislation allows the county to designate up to 3 cents for industrial development.

The development commission’s projected 2013-14 fiscal year budget is $1.1 million, with the remaining revenue being $306,500 generated by the Technology Enterprise Center.

The data Yuhas provided did not include the jobs or investments ASMO will be making in the next eight years.

However, the incentive package approved by the commissioners for the project was important, she said.

The commissioners agreed to give a cash incentive equal to 80 percent of the increased value of ad valorem taxes paid in the eight-year period. The development commission also will pay Pitt Community College up to $30,000 toward employee training.

“The consultant working on the project stated repeatedly that it was the work the commissioners did ... that made the difference in securing the (ASMO) project,” Yuhas said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.