Raleigh, N.C. – The Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership announced Tuesday that an international snack food manufacturer will invest $24 million in Kings Mountain, N.C., bringing 129 jobs to Speaker Tim Moore’s (R-Cleveland) hometown.
Benestar Brands, the parent company of Evans Food Group, is a rapidly growing manufacturer of high-quality snack foods. The investment in North Carolina will provide access to the fast-growing company’s customer base and the nation’s east coast market.
“I appreciate all of our local officials partnering with the state to successfully bring Benestar Brands and 130 new jobs to Kings Mountain, maintaining Cleveland County’s economic momentum as North Carolina continues to outpace competitors in this recovery thanks to our excellent business climate,” Speaker Moore said.
The new jobs will include managerial, operational, maintenance, warehouse and office staff. The average annual salary of $43,021 for all new positions will create a payroll impact of more than $5.5 million per year and is higher than Cleveland County’s average annual wage.
Officials involved with the project said the partnership would build on the economic success of recent investments in Cleveland County.
“After an extensive search throughout the southeast, we selected Kings Mountain, North Carolina for our newest production facility based on the state’s strong support of the manufacturing industry and talented workforce,” said Carl E. Lee, Jr., CEO of Benestar Brands, a release sent by the CCEDP.
“Over the past year, our company has expanded our portfolio of innovative savory snacks, entering new categories that will be produced at this Plant. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with the State of North Carolina as we expand our company.”
Benestar Brands’ North Carolina expansion will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee, as well as a Cleveland County incentive grant that was approved on October 13th.
“I give so much credit to the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners and Kings Mountain City Council for this incredible win, who have collectively made economic development one of their top, strategic priorities for many years now. Because of their support, CCEDP has been able to aggressively pursue new business development and expansion opportunities to help grow our community’s economy and create great careers for our local citizens,” Kristin Reese, Executive Director of CCEDP, said in the release.
An incentive grant with the City of Kings Mountain will be presented and voted on during a public hearing at the City’s council meeting scheduled for October 27th.
“We are excited that Benestar Brands has chosen to construct their new manufacturing operations in Cleveland County,” said Susan Allen, Chair of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.“These jobs will have a positive impact on our local economy and for that we are extremely grateful.”
“This year has certainly brought its share of challenges, so the announcement of this project is very timely as these new jobs will significantly accelerate our community’s path to economic recovery. We also can appreciate how this company will help to diversify and expand our local manufacturing base,” said Scott Neisler, Mayor of the City of Kings Mountain.