May 20, 2020
FREMONT, Calif. — Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, received a striking message from the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Tuesday afternoon.
It was a direct appeal made over Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. plant in the form of an airplane flyover pulling a banner saying “Tesla, come to NC. We want you @GRMegasite.”
“We are just letting them know we’d love to have their interest in our site,” said Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, which is involved in the process of finding a tenant for the 1,825-acre site on US 421 west of Liberty.
Franklin said the idea for the flyover banner, similar to pizza restaurants advertising at beaches, was discussed by the members of the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite marketing team.
“It’s to let people know we’re still here and to get the word out to others who may be looking” for advanced manufacturing sites.
A media advisory from the GRMS noted, “Today, Tesla will be invited to locate a manufacturing plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite in North Carolina. ... Tesla’s need for a manufacturing location to serve the U.S. East Coast can be met in the Heart of North Carolina.”
Franklin said a pilot and a company that specializes in such banners were contracted for the banner and flyover. “It’s just a typical banner with a certain number of characters,” Franklin said.
The plane was scheduled to fly over the Tesla plant between 12:14-1:45 p.m. Pacific Time.
Franklin said those involved with the megasite hoped that a local TV affiliate would film the flyover. But more than that, they hope “for feedback from Tesla.”
When asked if the GRM had been in contact with Tesla, Franklin said he couldn’t get into private conversations with any company considered to be a potential client.
Tesla manufactures electric vehicles with assembly plants in Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai, China. The company also has lithium-ion battery and photovoltaic cell plants in Reno, Nev., and Buffalo, NY.
The media advisory said the following about the megasite:
“The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite was assembled specifically with a large OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in mind. The megasite is strategically located in central North Carolina midway between New York and Miami, providing easy access to over 170 million consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Just minutes from I-85 and downtown Greensboro, the megasite has ready access to a workforce exceeding 1.1 million within a 50-mile radius. The combination of direct highway access, class 1 rail, robust utilities, a highly skilled manufacturing workforce, and world-class regional education make the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite the premier megasite in the Southeastern US.”
Source: Courier Tribune
March 9, 2020
Lawrence Industries Expands, Receives $230,000 Grant
Thomasville, NC – Lawrence Industries and the Randolph County EDC announce an expansion to Lawrence Industries in Thomasville. The expansion will add 15,000 square feet to the company’s facilities, creating additional manufacturing space to meet rising customer demand. The project will also result in the creation of at least 29 new jobs at the company.
On February 20, Randolph County was awarded a $230,000 NC Commerce Building Reuse Grant by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to assist with the Lawrence Industries expansion project. Total investment in the project, including the expansion and new equipment, is projected to be $2,675,000.
The Lawrence Industries expansion project is necessary to accommodate the increased demand that is shifting production back to the USA. The addition will house mixing and material storage, allowing for up to sixteen new machines to be added to the current production area. Lawrence Industries is committed to retaining its current workforce of 50 full-time employees and adding 29 new jobs related to the expansion. The expansion will generate opportunities for tool and die makers, injection molding processors, maintenance personnel, and general operation personnel.
“Local and State officials have been very helpful in supporting our efforts here in the State of North Carolina and, in particular, Randolph County,” stated Barry Lawrence, President of Lawrence Industries, Inc. “This is a wonderful environment for manufacturing. It shows how people working together can make things happen.”
“Randolph County is pleased to partner with Lawrence Industries on this expansion project,” stated Darrell Frye, Chairman of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners. “This type of collaboration speaks well of the county’s friendly business environment and our interest in the success of our companies. We are very happy to see this growth at Lawrence Industries and the county is here to help in any way we can.”
Lawrence Industries is a leader in the design, tooling, and production of high-performance American-made composite window hardware. The company has been in operation for over forty years and has been focused on non-metal window hardware since 2004. Lawrence Industries has experienced substantial growth due to demand for the company’s domestically manufactured parts. The company supplies a diverse mix of window manufacturers of all sizes. More information about the company, its product lines, and its capabilities can be found at www.lawrenceindustriesinc.com
The Randolph County Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that works with industrial clients in the county. The EDC’s mission is to support a growing healthy economy so that local residents have diverse quality job opportunities through the attraction of new businesses to the area and the retention and expansion of existing business and industry.
February 14, 2020
Apprenticeship Randolph — a collaboration of Randolph Community College, the Randolph County School System, Asheboro City Schools, the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce and local manufacturers — has opened registration for the 2020 cohort.
Students may register for the program through March 10 and attend open house events hosted by 17 participating industry partners.
Junior and senior high school students interested in manufacturing technology, automotive systems technology and information technology are encouraged to contact their career development counselors for assistance. Eligible students must attend school and reside in Randolph County.
The program begins with a six-week, pre-apprenticeship summer program that consists of classes at Randolph Community College and 40 hours per week of on-the-job training. Once a business selects its apprentice after the trial period, the program is spread over four years with students receiving paid, on-the-job training while earning an associate of applied science degree in manufacturing technology, automotive systems technology or information technology, all through RCC. They also earn a journeyworker certificate from the N.C. Community College System and U.S. Department of Labor.
Randleman High School student Brandon Hill started his apprenticeship in 2017 with industry partner Hubbell Industrial Controls in Archdale.
Apprenticeship Randolph began in June 2016 with a goal to bridge both the interest and skill gaps in modern manufacturing and provide a vehicle for expanding the workforce pool for advanced manufacturing in the county. Tuition is funded through Career and College Promise and the N.C. Youth Apprenticeship Tuition Waiver Program, and books are paid for by the school systems and the participating companies.
Source: Triad Business Journal
February 11, 2020
Lawrence Industries is seeking a $230,000 Building Reuse Grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce to help fund a proposed expansion at its plant at 7246 Wright Road in Thomasville. The planned expansion would create at least 29 full-time jobs.
According to the Randolph County Economic Development Corp., the company is seeking to increase production capacity to meet rising customer demand for its window hardware, which is custom designed and injection molded on site. Lawrence Industries plans to add 15,000 square feet to its plant, an investment of almost $2.7 million including manufacturing equipment.
Lawrence Industries identifies itself as a “world leader in the design, tooling and production of high-performance American lead free composite window hardware,” according to its website. With 30 years of experience in zinc die casting, metal stamping and injection molding, the company is now designing and developing new high-performance composite products. Its custom-blended composites are marine grade featuring superior to metals in strength, impact, corrosion resistance and surface finish.
The company serves customers across the country, producing 100% of its hardware in locally. Randolph County approved submission of the grant application in January, and award decisions will be announced by the Commerce Department Feb. 20.
Source: Triad Business Journal
December 12, 2019
ASHEBORO — Founder’s Hemp and Nufabrx have unveiled a new concept in pain relief — wearing your medicine.
The two partnering companies held a press conference Tuesday at the Everything Hemp store on Dixie Drive in Asheboro to introduce the new product — a CBD-infused compression sleeve. Bossong Hosiery will manufacture the sleeves at its Asheboro plant.
Bob Crumley, founder and CEO of Founder’s Hemp in Asheboro, said he attended a meeting in Asheville more than three years ago and heard a man’s presentation. “He said, ‘Imagine getting a dose of medicine from your clothes.’ I said, ‘Oh my God.’ ”
The man giving the talk was Jordan Schindler, founder of Nufabrx of Conover. He spent seven years with MIT scientists developing a technology to embed active ingredients into yarn to make medicinal application easier. His process is patented and offers a controlled release of the active ingredients into the skin.
Crumley said he and Schindler started testing product design with Bossong about three years ago. They’re now ready to market Hemp Squeeze, CBD-infused compression sleeves for the knee and elbow.
When worn, the CBD oil absorbs into the skin to provide pain relief for hours. It remains active for up to 25 washings, according to Schindler.
“I believe infused-fabric products are going to be used around the world,” Crumley said. “And we’ll make the product here in Randolph County. I couldn’t be more happy to unveil this product.”
Schindler said he moved his company from Seattle to the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover because “I needed a home base that understood the textile industry. I wouldn’t be here without Founder’s Hemp.”
He described the concept as being simple: “Instead of taking a pill, just get dressed in the morning. We put CBD in the garment and it absorbs into the skin.”
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient of marijuana but it’s also present in the hemp plant, which won’t get you high. CBD has been found to reduce pain and relieve stress, among other health benefits.
“It’s all about made in America,” Schindler said. “We believe in bringing jobs back to America.”
He said the yarn comes from American companies, it’s infused at his Conover plant with CBD oil from hemp grown in North Carolina and processed at Founder’s Hemp, and Bossong takes the infused yarn to manufacture the compression sleeves.
“This is the first of many products,” Schindler said. “We look forward to a full line coming out soon.”
Crystal Gettys, business recruitment director of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, said, “We couldn’t be more proud and excited to be part of this. We’re geared up to see what the future holds and what jobs may result.”
Crumley, who has been instrumental in reintroducing the hemp industry in North Carolina, was asked if hemp could be a major cash crop.
“Hemp was a cash crop before tobacco,” he said. “I predict it’ll be one again. It’s already one of the state’s biggest cash crops. It’ll be bigger than tobacco is now.”
One reason, he said, is that “there will be more infused products using this technology.”
Schindler called Hemp Squeeze “the world’s first infused clothing product.” He said he believes the technology can be used in T-shirts, gloves and other clothing items. In fact, he was wearing a pair of infused socks.
Crumley was asked how he got into manufacturing hemp products. He said he had three friends to die from cancer and started researching what could be done. That’s when he “found cannabis” in hemp, which is non-psychotropic and not habit-forming.
He said their sales force is currently talking to retailers and the national launch of Hemp Squeeze will be on Jan. 1, 2020. The products could soon be in sporting goods stores, golf and pro shops and various retail stores.
“We’re creating a new industry,” Crumley said.