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Richelieu Legwear Invests $16 Million To Expand Hildebran, North Carolina, Manufacturing Campus

Area Development Online News Desk (06/16/2014)
Canada-based Richelieu Legwear International Inc. is expanding its presence in Hildebran, North Carolina, through an investment of $16 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This investment will bring Richelieu’s total investment in the U.S. to $24 million. The project is expected to result in the creation of 205 jobs in Burke County by the end of 2018.

Employees at the new facility will manufacture socks and will be supported by a long-term commitment from the company’s leading customer, Walmart. This partnership will assure that significant financial investments are supported by program placement from Walmart for years to come, the North Carolina Department of Commerce said.

“We were fortunate to have had access to a skilled North Carolina workforce in 2011 that has contributed to our success, and are excited about building upon this strong foundation with new additions to our team,” said Richelieu President Michael Penner. “The decision to invest in North Carolina was a direct result of the support provided by the state that is enabling us to attract, train and retain a highly qualified workforce. The state grant is just one example of our good working relationship with Governor McCrory and his Commerce team to the benefit of North Carolinians.”

“Global companies like Richelieu Legwear recognize that North Carolina is a great place for businesses to thrive because of our top-notch business climate and well-trained workforce,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “I had a great meeting with the company’s president Michael Penner in Charlotte and personally thanked him for his commitment to triple the size of Richelieu Legwear’s workforce in North Carolina.”

Founded in Sorel, Quebec in 1934, Richelieu Legwear has distribution centers in Canada and the United States, offices in three countries and manufacturing sources in nine countries. It is a leading provider of legwear products to Walmart and other major retailers in the United States, Canada and internationally under the brand names Peds, MediPeds and Growing Socks.

The company acquired selected assets of International Legwear Group in Hildebran in 2011 and hired 45 members of the firm’s workforce. Currently, Richelieu Legwear has its U.S. based operations in Hildebran where it employs more than 60 people.

“Western North Carolina is proud of its strong roots in manufacturing,” said Representative Mike Hager. “It makes great business sense for Richelieu Legwear to expand in Hildebran. We’re excited to welcome this expansion here and strengthen the local and regional economy with good jobs.”

The project is made possible in part by an award to Richelieu Legwear from the state Job Development Investment Grant program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, Richelieu Legwear is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Richelieu Legwear of $2.9 million.

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, NC Community College System, NC Works, Burke County, the Town of Hildebran, Burke Development Incorporated and Duke Energy.

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