A new manufacturing company is coming to Old Fort, creating 70 new jobs in McDowell County.
On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Triple Aught Design, a US-based adventure gear company, will invest $1 million to build and operate a cutting-edge apparel and gear production facility and experience center in Old Fort.
“Today, the second largest industry in our state, manufacturing, is continuing to grow with Triple Aught choosing North Carolina for their East Coast operations,” Cooper said. “Companies like Triple Aught Design are drawn to our strong manufacturing workforce and premier quality of life to support their company’s growth.”
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Triple Aught Design designs, engineers, produces and retails high-quality adventure apparel and equipment. Founded in 2010, the San Francisco-based manufacturer sells its products directly to consumers online, in their flagship retail store and with a select group of international retailers. In addition to manufacturing, Triple Aught also plans to open a new retail shop and community gathering space adjacent to the factory.
“There’s a $1,000,000 investment in machinery and equipment, then some of it goes into the building,” said Chuck Abernathy, executive director of the McDowell Economic Development Association.
Abernathy said the announcement came after five months of work. He said it will be a great addition to the economy of the area and Old Fort, with several hiking trails and outdoor activities around the area, is a fitting location.
“They produce outdoor-related apparel and also outdoor adventure equipment for the citizens and the customers and also the military,” Abernathy said. “They [Old Fort] will be known as the town of trails.”
The company will begin accepting applications on its website at TripleAughtDesign.com.
“We considered locations across the entire U.S. and are thrilled to have found a perfect location in Old Fort,” said Brett Eisenberg, CEO of Triple Aught Design. “Western North Carolina’s talented manufacturing base, proximity to our key textile partners, and inspiring wilderness areas make it an ideal location for our East Coast expansion.”
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“Innovation drives companies of all sizes and industry segments to North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Triple Aught Design is the newest addition to our state’s impressive list of growing manufacturers, and we welcome the energy, values and vision that has led to their success.”
The new positions include designers, sewing operators, retail staff, operations and administrative personnel. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position, but the average annual wage will exceed McDowell County’s overall average annual wage of $36,753 and create a payroll impact of more than $2.5 million per year.
McDowell County contributed a $105,000 incentive grant and the state will contribute $210,000 from the OneNC fund, assuming investment and employment obligations are met.
The company plans to eventually add a retail front in Old Fort, as well. According a news release, the company plans to begin operations in the Parker Hosiery building toward the end of October.
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