News Articles

Founder's Hemp approved for expansion grant

November 4, 2019

ASHEBORO — Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro has been approved for a grant to assist in expansion plans, according to a press release from the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation.

On Oct. 17, the City of Asheboro was awarded a $150,000 NC Commerce Building Reuse Grant by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority. The grant will assist Asheboro-based Founder’s Hemp with the installation of five new clean rooms in existing warehousing space. Total investment in the project, including the grant, is projected to be $430,700.

The project is necessitated by growing demand for Founder’s Hemp product. The new clean rooms will enhance the company’s capacity to process hemp to supplement grade standards and will leverage the creation of at least 15 new manufacturing and packaging jobs by Founder’s Hemp. The company will retain 62 existing full-time positions in Asheboro.

“We are truly grateful to the City of Asheboro, the county and the EDC for this grant and are honored to be one of the first hemp companies in North Carolina to receive this type of grant,” said Bob Crumley, founder and CEO of Founder’s Hemp. “Founder’s Hemp has been operating in Asheboro since 2017 and is proud to be a member of this thriving business community. Asheboro was the first city in the State of North Carolina to support us in building our hemp processing facility and we look forward to expanding our company and creating more jobs as the hemp industry continues to grow.”

“The City of Asheboro is excited that Founder’s Hemp is adding 15 quality new jobs to the local economy,” Asheboro Mayor David Smith said. “Randolph County’s story is a story of agriculture, so it’s fitting that Founder’s Hemp is growing a transformational business here in Asheboro based on hemp, a historically significant crop. We are particularly excited about the related high-tech jobs in the biosciences that Founder’s Hemp is bringing to the community.”

Founder’s Hemp is a vertically integrated hemp company. From clone to final product, Founder’s Hemp is the leading provider of premium hemp extracts, products and services. The company provides expert assistance to its network of farmers on everything from seed/clone selection to harvesting methods, and processes North Carolina-grown hemp into products for others to enjoy and consume.

In addition to processing its own hemp into usable products, the company also contracts extraction services. The company has retail locations that offer high-quality product, fiber, food and more. In June 2019, Innovative AgriProducts, the extraction division of Founder’s Hemp, became the only North Carolina hemp processing facility to be GMP certified.

Source: Courier-Tribune

Founder's Hemp will soon be expanding

August 22, 2019

ASHEBORO — Asheboro’s Founder’s Hemp will soon be expanding its operation — if its application for a building reuse grant be accepted.

Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, appeared before the Asheboro City Council in a special meeting Tuesday evening in order to obtain approval from the city to allow Founder’s Hemp to submit its application for the grant.

“Founder’s Hemp is among the first hemp companies established in North Carolina,” Franklin told council members. “It’s been operating in Asheboro since 2017, essentially since as long as it’s been permitted for them to operate.”

The company has experienced rapid growth, according to Franklin, which has necessitated enhanced processing capabilities to meet growing demands.

The company plans to renovate a portion of its existing facility that is currently being used as warehouse space.

The renovated space would include new equipment and five new clean rooms, and carry an estimated price tag of $310,000.

“We believe that to be a low estimate, but a safe estimate,” Franklin said. “And then, of course, there’s going to be additional related investment in equipment and machinery in the $50,000 range as well.”

Founder’s Hemp is eligible for a $150,000 grant that would allow it to expand through the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The city would serve as the grant applicant, due to the program requiring that the applicant be a unit of local government.

“The grant program also requires a 5% local government match to the grant amount. That would total $7,500 based on this $150,000 grant request,” Franklin said.

He added that if the city council approved the application, he would then approach Randolph County government and request that it participate with 50% of that grant match.

Currently, Founder’s Hemp employees 62 full-time employees. Following the renovation, ”(The project) should increase the value of the building, generate new investment, equipment and machinery, and result in the creation of 15 quality new jobs,” Franklin said.

Owen George also spoke before the council as a representative of the U.S. Small Business Administration, reassuring council members that the hemp industry is recognized as a legitimate and legal industry all across the country.

“For us who work in the field of business development in North Carolina, quite frankly, we’re very excited about the growth in hemp industries,” George said. “It’s bringing a lot of value to our farmers. It’s helping to replace the tobacco that so many families depended on for generations here.”

Founder’s Hemp owner Bob Crumley thanked the council for the support it has shown since the start of the company.

“You were the first city in the state of North Carolina to open its city area for our hemp processing facility to be built,” he said.

Crumley added that he sees a successful future for the hemp business.

“Hemp was the first cash crop in North Carolina, and where hemp grew well, tobacco then grew well, and now hemp will grow well again. That prophecy is coming true all over North Carolina.”

Founder’s Hemp President Jamie Crumley concluded by noting the rapid growth of the business and her hopes for the renovation.

“This next step of our project will allow us to expand our company and create more jobs as well as to increase the footprint that we have in the city,” she said.

Following the presentation and public hearing, the council unanimously approved adopting a resolution for the city to pursue the economic development project by submitting an application for the building reuse grant.

By Jamie Biggs

Hubbell Controls adding jobs

July 2, 2019

A manufacturer of electrical controls for cranes and fire protection equipment will expand in Archdale, creating 14 engineering and production jobs.

Hubbell Industrial Controls plans to renovate and expand into a vacant 5,782-square-foot building at 4306 Cheyenne Drive, according to Randolph County Economic Development Corp. The company is a member of the Hubbell Industrial Products Group, which is part of Hubbell Inc. (NYSE: HUBB).

Hubbell Industrial Controls will consolidate its engineering team into the renovated space, which is across the street from Hubbell’s existing facility.

Of the 14 jobs the company expects to create, four will join the company’s engineering team to support Hubbell’s industrial controls division. The other 10 jobs will be production positions created at the main facility as a new product line is added.

The company expects to retain 141 jobs in Archdale, with the new jobs driving it to 155 total.

Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County EDC, told TBJ that Hubbell expects the average wage of the 14 positions to be $52,641, well above the county’s average wage of $35,400.

“That’s definitely one of our goals — to attract and support jobs that raise the average wage of the county,” Franklin said.

The Archdale facility is Hubbell Industrial Controls’ only location in North Carolina, with operations there focused on making controls for products such as cranes and fire protection equipment. Products for the industrial division are made in Archdale, Wisconsin and Texas, according to the company.

“Hubbell Industrial Controls has been successful for many years in Archdale due to its positive business climate and good talent base, which enable us to further grow our business,” said Christoph Vogel, Hubbell vice president and general manager, industrial and commercial construction.

To incentivize the jobs and the investment in renovations, the city of Archdale was awarded a $125,000 N.C. Commerce Building Grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority. Those funds will assist in the renovations, with the total investment including the grant projected at $264,537. Hubbell has 18 months from June 20, when the grant was awarded, to create the 14 jobs, followed by a six-month retention period.

Franklin told TBJ that a permit was pulled for the project in late May, and he expects work to begin immediately and be completed within about 90 days. J.L. Darr & Son Inc. has been enlisted as the general contractor.

“The city is very proud to work with Hubbell on this expansion grant,” said Archdale Mayor Bert Lance-Stone. “We’re glad to have them as a part of the Archdale community.”

Expansion doubles size of Ferree Trailers in Liberty

May 15, 2019

Expansion doubles size of Ferree Trailers in Liberty

LIBERTY — Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of its 52,000-square-foot facility and building expansion at Ferree Trailers in Liberty Tuesday.

“I’d like to thank you all for coming and welcome you to our ribbon cutting ceremony for this new facility,” Talbert President Andrew Tanner said during opening remarks.

“When we purchased this facility back in 2014, we had about 18 employees. We’re up a little over 40 now,” he said.

Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. acquired Ferree Trailers in 2014. The expansion doubled the size of the facility.

The company, based in Rensselaer, Ind., specializes in building world-class equipment trailers, and has been serving the transportation industry since 1938.

Russell Stern, co-owner of Talbert Manufacturing, and various local officials were in attendance at the event.

“It is a real pleasure to be here today,” Stern said during the ceremony.

“This was a business that my father (Harry J. Stern) wanted to make successful ... and one where he wanted to create an environment where people can work.

“It’s exciting to see, (we) looking forward to filling it up.”

Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. currently offers employment in the areas of welding, painting and assembly, and is now hiring locally.

“We will be at 60 jobs by the end of the year,” Tanner said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to grow.”

Fibertex Personal Care

March 25, 2019

Fibertex Personal Care

ASHEBORO — Danish company Fibertex Personal Care Corp. celebrated the grand opening of its first North American manufacturing facility on Friday.

Invited guests, which included Asheboro City and Randolph County officials, as well as customers, media and business and community leaders, were treated to breakfast, a ribbon cutting and a tour of the sparkling new plant. It’s located at 733 Commerce Place in Asheboro, off Pineview Street, on a tract of land near the former Goodyear plant.

Fibertex is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of spunbond/spunmelt nonwoven fabrics for key components in baby diapers, sanitary napkins and adult incontinence care products.

Founded in 1968 and expanded in 2007 with its print subsidiary, Innowo Print, it has operations in Denmark, Germany and Malaysia.

The Asheboro plant, the first in the United States, will eventually have capabilities for both nonwoven production and printing.

Currently, in this first phase of operations, only printing is done on-site. Employees number around a dozen, but eventually 145 jobs will be created as the company expands. All told, the company plans a $114 million investment.

Mikael Axelsen, Group CEO of Fibertex, welcomed guests, noting that “our journey” began two years ago when the company “tried to identify the right spot for us to build a base in the U.S.” and “it became very clear that North Carolina was the most attractive place to be.” Narrowing that choice down to Asheboro was helped by the welcoming people, well-developed industrial area, strong logistical connections, highways and rail.

“Once the decision was made on the location, we had a great announcement ceremony in Asheboro with a lot of VIPs, including the governor (Roy Cooper) and, of course, all of us. And as a welcome gift, we received the North Carolina Flag from the governor.

“Second came the ground-breaking ceremony which is exactly one year ago and this time we received the golden shovel,” he added, which is hanging on display in the break room, “and now here today with a brand new factory, two years after the first visit, not bad at all!”

Axelsen said the next parts of the journey will be different but challenging, including expansion; working with customers, suppliers and partners; and how to run production 24/7, efficiently and with high quality.

“Our end customers are babies so it is our responsibility to deliver the best. Today, we have a visitor from P&G (Procter & Gamble) who is our first customer of the site and will be an important customer as we develop our business. P&G is the world’s leading manufacturer of baby diapers worldwide and we supply them basically in all regions of the world. So, thank you for supporting our common business.”

Asheboro Mayor David Smith also had warm words of welcome for the new company.