Sonoco Plastics to invest US$11.7M over next three years to expand operations at its packaging facility in Waynesville, North Carolina; 35 new jobs to be created

RALEIGH, North Carolina , November 18, 2011 (press release) – State Grant Helps Company Expand in Waynesville

Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Sonoco Plastics Inc., a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services, will expand operations at its packaging facility in Waynesville. This expansion, made possible in part by a $140,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, will create 35 jobs and result in an $11.7 million investment over the next three years.

“My top priority is creating jobs, and a critical part of our strategy is helping existing North Carolina employers expand,” Gov. Perdue said. “Companies, like Sonoco Plastics, which already have operations in North Carolina, know we have a top-notch business climate, skilled workforce and excellent job training programs.”

Sonoco Plastics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonoco Products Company, headquartered in Hartsville, South Carolina. Sonoco Products Company and Sonoco Plastics currently employ 331 people in North Carolina at facilities located in Alamance, Caldwell, Catawba, Craven, Haywood and Rutherford counties. This project will expand Sonoco Plastics’ thermoforming manufacturing line at the Waynesville facility in Haywood County.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $35,264 plus benefits. The Haywood County average annual wage is $29,276.

“We’ve been pleased with the operations and productivity of our Waynesville plant, and this expansion is good business for us,” said Art Haag, general manager of Sonoco Plastics - Thermforming. “Not only does it allow us to expand our operations so that we’re able to successfully meet growing demand in the marketplace, but it also shows our commitment to further grow our operations in Waynesville.

“We especially want to acknowledge the community and local government leaders we worked with on this project, as well as those with the One NC Fund. We all focused our energy on bringing this project to fruition and the result is a worthwhile initiative that benefits all parties involved.”

The One NC 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.

“Sonoco already knew what companies looking to move to North Carolina are learning every day – that we have the educated, skilled workforce they need and a business climate that will help them thrive,” said Rep. Ray Rapp, of Mars Hill. “And that’s thanks to the investments we have made in education, workforce training and essential infrastructure needs.”

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 NC Fund, more than 55,000 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, Haywood County, Haywood County Economic Development Commission and the Town of Waynesville.

For more information about Sonoco Plastics, visit www.sonoco.com

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