RALEIGH – More than 570 jobs are coming to Scotland and Richmond counties in North Carolina following the approval of two economic incentive deals on Tuesday with the state of North Carolina.

SO-PAK-CO, a supplier to the U.S. military, will construct a new food processing plant in Scotland County, and plans to invest $85 million by the end of 2025.

“This announcement is great news for Scotland County and our state,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in a statement.  “With our manufacturing legacy, diverse workforce, and transportation infrastructure, SO-PAK-CO can confidently expand their operations here to serve even more nutritious meals to our men and women in uniform.”

Once completed, the facility is expected to employ at least 440 workers, who will earn average annual wages of more than $45,000, according to a presentation delivered during a scheduled meeting of the state’s Economic Investment Committee on Tuesday morning.

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Scotland County jobs

And those jobs may be sorely needed in Scotland County, as the latest available employment data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce indicates that Scotland County has the second-highest unemployment rate of any of North Carolina’s 100 counties, at 7.7%.  Only Edgecombe County had a higher unemployment rate, at 7.9%.

As the company builds the facility and hires workers, it expects to fill those 440 jobs by 2027.  According to a statement, the company will hire craftsman, managers, operators, and administrative personnel.

A performance-based incentives package was awarded to the company following a unanimous vote by the Economic Investment Committee, totaling approximately $7.7 million.  And the company may also receive a local incentives package worth approximately $6.1 million, for a total incentives package of about $13.2 million.

“We are so pleased to be working with Governor Cooper and the State of North Carolina to establish this new world-class facility,” said Lonnie F. Thompson, President of SO-PAK-CO, in a statement. “With the new Laurinburg facility, in addition to our South Carolina campuses, we will be better able to serve our existing customers while also expanding our capacity to position ourselves for growth.

SO-PAK-CO is headquartered in Mullins, South Carolina, and considered two expansion sites in South Carolina in addition to the location in Scotland County.

Scotland County is also one of the sites where a $25 million federal grant to expand broadband access will be deployed, WRAL TechWire reported last month.

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More jobs coming to Richmond County

Scotland County shares a border with Richmond County, to the west.

And a manufacturer of cabinetry is planning to expand in North Carolina by building a new facility to add additional capacity in order to meet demand.

American Woodmark Corporation, which operates two facilities in North Carolina already and employs more than 900 workers, plans to build the new facility in Hamlet and invest about $36 million.

Once completed, the new facility will employ 131 workers, with average annual wages of about $44,750.

It will be the second facility in Hamlet for American Woodmark Corporation, and the third in North Carolina (the other facility is located in Lincolnton.)  The firm is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia.

Under the deal approved on Tuesday by the Economic Investment Committee, the company will receive state incentives worth approximately $1.7 million and local incentives of about $1.1 million.

Richmond County’s unemployment rate is 6.0% according to the latest data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the eighth-highest unemployment rate of any county in the state.

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