North Carolina Clear Choice for New Shipyard Location.

Gunboat CEO hails N.C. as company brings jobs back to U.S.

1/26/2012

[North Carolina Office of the Governor]

RALEIGH—Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Gunboat Company, a maker of high-end sailboats, will locate a new shipyard in Dare County. The company plans to create 71 jobs and invest more than $1.8 million over the next three years in Wanchese. The project was made possible in part by a $213,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
 
“My top priority is creating jobs,” Gov. Perdue said. “Our state’s top-notch workforce and job training programs create a strong business climate where manufacturers can thrive in a global market. We welcome Gunboat and wish them smooth sailing here in North Carolina.”
 
Gunboat Company produces world cruising sailing catamaran yachts that utilize advanced technology from round-the-world racing sailboats combined with luxurious interiors. Gunboat is a sister company of Gunboat International, which is headquartered in Rhode Island. The new facility will allow the company to increase production and meet the growing demand for Gunboats.
 
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $27,093, plus benefits. The Dare County average annual wage is $24,128.
 
“After more than a decade of producing overseas in lower labor cost markets, we are bringing manufacturing home to the United States,” said Peter Johnstone, CEO of Gunboat. “Productivity and quality control are essential to our success. We spent months evaluating locations in various states along the Eastern seaboard. North Carolina stood clear above the rest.”
 
“Together we identified ideal locations and labor markets,” Johnstone added. “Wanchese’s long tradition of building the world’s finest sportfish yachts gave us great confidence. The state’s comprehensive business support sealed our decision.”
 
The One North Carolina Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
 
“We are extremely happy that an established boat company like Gunboat is coming to Dare County,” said Sen. Stan White of Nags Head. “The creation of 71 jobs is a godsend to our area and Wanchese that have been hit hard by the recession. Gunboat produces high-end sailing catamarans that represent a new market niche for Dare County and the region.”
 
“Our past investments in education have once again paid off,” said Rep. Tim Spear of Creswell. “Our schools and job training programs have built the kind of educated, skilled workforce that specialty manufacturers are looking for. Today’s announcement is another example of why those investments must continue.”
 
North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate. Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state works aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
 
Through use of the One North Carolina Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investment have been created since 2001.  Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, N.C. SBTDC, N.C. State University Industrial Extension Service, N.C. Seafood Industrial Park Authority, Dare County, Northeastern Workforce Development Board and the Northeast Commission.
 
For more information about Gunboat, go to www.gunboat.com.

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