Governor Roy Cooper’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Commerce last week announced the award of a Building Reuse grant to support the growth of a Burke County manufacturer.
J.E. Ekornes USA, Inc. received a $500,000 grant to support the expansion of its facility on Wamsutta Mill Road in Morganton. The expansion is projected to create 102 new jobs with 80 tied to the building reuse grant.
“This is a great project and we’re excited to announce it,” said Jeff Brittain, Chairman of the Burke County Commissioners. “Not only are the new jobs important but solidifying the existing jobs was key to this project. We hope this means J.E. Ekornes will be in Burke County for a long time to come.”
J.E. Ekornes currently has 47 full-time employees in North Carolina. The Morganton operation produces all Stressless sofas sold in North America, including motorized sofas, Stressless dining chairs, and ottomans and accessories. The expansion and increase in their labor force will allow them to increase their production and add additional products, as well as expand warehouse and distribution space.
The Norwegian-based company has reportedly grown since opening its doors in Burke County in 2012. Randy Tallent, vice president of J. E. Ekornes USA, said, “These jobs will go to local workers. Not only is it good for the local economy, but it will distinguish us from our competitors who only make or source products abroad”.
Alan Wood, President and CEO of Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) had the following to say, “Helping our existing industries grow is at the core of our efforts. We need our local companies to grow and expand. It is a sign of a healthy economy when this occurs and we hope that J E Ekornes is not the only company we can find ways to assist over the coming months.”
Burke Development, Inc., Burke County, the City of Morganton, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the NC Department of Commerce, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) assisted with the project.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.