RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Punker LLC, a leading manufacturer of fan wheels and blowers, will locate a new manufacturing plant in Hickory. The project will bring 56 new jobs along with a $4.2 million capital investment. The project was made possible in part by a $78,100 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
“Creating jobs is my top priority, and North Carolina’s excellent workforce has the knowledge and skills that global companies demand,” Gov. Perdue said. “Businesses looking for new locations quickly discover how much North Carolina deserves its top national rankings as one of the best places to do business.”
Punker manufactures centrifugal fan wheels, which are used for efficient heating, cooling, cooking, ventilation and extraction. The company offers air ventilation solutions for a variety of applications. Punker employs around 300 employees at its main facility in Germany. The project will allow the company to transfer all existing U.S. business from Germany to the Hickory plant.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $35,850, plus benefits. The Catawba County average annual wage is $34,216.
“We are looking forward to establishing our U.S. production facility in Hickory, North Carolina. The location is very pleasant and close to our customers,” said Dr. Henning Baehren, Chairman and CEO of Punker. “The state and county representatives did a great job presenting information about state and county and showing us around the city. They impressed us with their professionalism and attention to our needs. We are grateful we were able to work with them through the process of site selection and we are looking forward to continuing to do so in the future.”
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.
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, laying the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
Through the use of the One North Carolina Fund, more than 55,000 jobs and $11 billion in investments have been created since 2001. Other partners that helped with this project include the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Catawba County, the City of Hickory and Duke Energy.
For more information about Punker, including job opportunities, visit www.punker.com.
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