MONROE – Union County leaders are using economic incentive grants to persuade two companies to carry out $15.5 million in expansion projects.
Both ATI Specialty Materials in Monroe and Fisher Textiles in Indian Trail have indicated that incentives were factors for their decisions to expand here, according to Ron Mahle, assistant director of existing industry for Monroe-Union County Economic Development.
ATI Specialty Materials employs 1,450 people on three campuses, including Monroe, to produce specialty metal alloys.
The company plans to spend $11 million on a campus expansion that would include the construction of a new manufacturing building, as well as the installation of machinery that will help with a new production line involving titanium. They may also consider sites in South Carolina or Tennessee.
“This new product offering will enable ATI to better compete in this sector on a global basis,” Mahle said.
The expansion could create five to 10 jobs, paying an average of $60,000 in annual wages.
County leaders approved a grant of no more than $302,500 paid over five years, beginning in fiscal year 2021. The company qualified for less under the county’s incentive program, but economic developers gave reason to increase the amount.
“Given the company’s 60-year history of investment in Union County, its strong wages and being an aerospace company, which is one of our targeted sectors, we believe an increase is warranted,” Mahle told commissioners Nov. 6.
Mahle’s group will approach the Monroe City Council on Nov. 14 for a similar request on behalf of the company.
Fisher Textiles has been in Union County for 25 years. The Indian Trail firm specializes in processing polyester fabric for various uses, ranging from awnings to sports. It employs 30 people.
Fisher Textiles plans on constructing a 60,000-square-foot building in 2018 that will function as process, warehouse and office space, Mahle said.
The $4.5 million project would create at least five new jobs, paying between $50,000 and $60,000 annually. County commissioners approved a grant not to exceed $90,000 over five years beginning in 2020.