China firm picks N. Carolina site
A Chinese company has selected a rural area in North Carolina for a new plant that will create 88 jobs.
U-Play Corporation, a contract manufacturer of disposable sanitary products, announced in August that it will build a plant in Wayne County. The company plans to invest $21.3 million in the facility near the town of Mount Olive, a community of about 4,600 nearly 70 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state capital.
“U- Play will create opportunities not only for the citizens of Mount Olive but for the entire county (Wayne). It will also occupy a great facility that has been underutilized for several years,” Crystal Gettys, executive director of the Wayne County Development Alliance in Goldsboro, North Carolina, said in an email.
This will be U-Play’s first US facility. Gettys said all 88 jobs – created over a four-year period – will be full time.
“We’re pleased U-Play recognized the many advantages of doing business in North Carolina. It’s not uncommon for us to be in a competitive situation when it comes to economic development projects such as this one. In this case, we were competing with a location in South Carolina (Marion),” David Rhoades of the North Carolina Department of Commerce wrote in an email.
Rhoades said U-Play will hire management, craftsmen, and sales staff. “The company’s annual payroll will add more than $2.75 million to the local economy,” he said.
“North Carolina is a fantastic place for our business because of its cluster of raw-material suppliers, well-trained workforce and business-friendly environment,” U-Play CEO Hancy Cheng said in a statement. “We want to put together all these advantages to create a manufacturing hub for our company to better serve our US customers.”
U-Play manufactures wet wipes, adult incontinence products and puppy-training pads. The purpose of the Mount Olive plant is to better serve the company’s original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and market their own “Made in USA” brand.
Founded in 2006, publicly held U-Play is based in China’s Anhui province and employs 310 people.
U-Play’s arrival in North Carolina was facilitated in part by a performance-based grant of up to $200,000 from the One North Carolina Fund which helps local governments create jobs and attract investment.
Companies receive no money upfront and must meet jobcreation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All grants are contingent upon a local government match.