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Castle Branch to bring headquarters, 420 jobs to Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A national company with a background in North Carolina will build its headquarters in Wilmington.

After looking into opportunities in California and Canada, Castle Branch, which does background and drug screenings for employers, says Wilmington is the place it will continue to call home.

At a news conference this afternoon, Castle Branch CEO and founder Brett Martin announced the company plans to add 420 new jobs and invest about $10 million in a new world headquarters next to its current facility near Mayfaire.

The New Hanover County Commission and Wilmington City Council pledged a combined $500,000 incentive package to help the deal. Martin, though, says staying was not about the money.

"Let's put this in context. Our investment is south of $60 million, so the $500,000 is an indication that the county and the city want us here. It's certainly not going to fund the product by any means, but it is an indication that they want us to stay here, and that's truly important," Martin said.

Martin says that the company will begin filling those new positions once it starts construction on the new building. That is expected to take about 14 months to be ready.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Castle Branch

I was hired at Castle Branch in sales about 5 years ago. I made $10/hr. plus commission but it was next to impossible to make commission. All I did was cold call companies which is almost an impossible way to get sales.

They give you 6 months, and if you aren't turning a profit by then, you are fired. They hint around in the office about the 6 month deadline bc thats how long you have to work there to qualify for unemployment.

They have a huge turnover bc there is no room for advancement. And they hire mostly young people bc they only have entry level jobs available. It's a place recent college grads can go to to build a resume, and find a better job elsewhere.

Luckily, I found another job before they were able to fire me. They clean house regularly bc they know there is a new group of grads available every 6 months from UNCW.

If you are looking for a long term way to make a living don't waste your time with them. Some of the people there do make a pretty good income but it's only those who were there from the beginning who landed all the NC accounts. In terms of new business, they don't compete very well outside of NC.

This is news!!??

What a joke! This company is bringing 420 new jobs to Wilmington. Yeah right! What the article failed to mention is that this company pays no money. Most positions here are $10 an hour. People don't stay. It's a revolving door. Just when you finally learn someone's name, they are headed down the road to their next job. Management doesn't care. They'd rather keep training an endless number of new employees at $10/hr than invest a little bit of money in someone that has been loyal and stayed with the company. This company stresses developing a relationship with their clients but can't even hold on to their own employees for more than a few months. I should know. I used to work there. This is not news. This is a joke. This is like another Walmart coming to town. Everybody's going gaga over 420 new jobs. 400 people making $10/hr isn't news to me. I'd rather hear a story about a company that is bringing 50, $50,000/year jobs to the area than bringing 400, $20,000/year jobs.

This isn't even recent news. They decided three weeks ago that they were staying in Wilmington. WECT did a story on it then. Yet these conceited people needed to hold a "press conference" to announce they were staying in Wilmington. Management is clueless. The 420 jobs will never happen. In order to add 420 new jobs this company would have to triple in size. The problem is their business model is broken. There is too much focus on developing the next big thing rather than making sure the current one even works. The are in over their heads. I compare it to trying to build a skyscraper without making sure they have a good foundation. They're trying to go worldwide and create products for clients and they can't even keep a steady workforce of people to do it. Customer service reps leave, IT people leave and managers are looking for new jobs. All because this company has no appreciation for it's employees. They should've called this place Stepping Stone because that's about how their employees view working there. If you're looking for your next two or three month job, apply today! They are always hiring! Congratulations on making the news though! Needless to say I am glad that I no longer live in Wilmington and even happier that I no longer work at The Branch.

Makes no sense

400 jobs*$20000 = $8,000,000 in wages in the local economy...
50 jobs*$50000 = $2,500,000 in wages in the local economy...

10 years at 30%+ growth, what is broken again?

Exactly, it makes no sense

Yes, 8 million dollars is a lot of money injected into the local economy. I’ll give you that. It’s definitely a lot more than the 2.5 million that I used in my example, but let’s examine those two numbers for a minute. How much of the 8 million dollars is disposable income? In your example you get 400 people all making $20,000/year. That’s 400 people that, besides the local grocery stores, aren’t going to add a lot of business to the local economy. You have 400 people that will rarely eat out, rarely visit movie theaters, rarely shop for items other than necessities, and rarely do any of the things that people with a better income do. These people won’t be buying houses, shopping for new cars, starting families, etc. With my example you have 50 people that are going to breathe life into the economy. They are going to start families, buy houses, shop for new vehicles, buy furniture, and do all of the other things at a far higher rate than the people making $20,000/year. While my dollar amount was actually lower, the effect it has on the community as a whole is more.

Also, for the 8 million dollars to ever happen, the company has to triple in size. Add 400 people. This is something that I never see happening. Now let’s take a look at the broken part.

When you offer health insurance but don’t pay your employees enough to afford it, that’s what’s broken.

When supervisors leave, taking entry level positions elsewhere, because it pays more money, that’s what’s broken.

When 5 years at the company gets you $2.13/hour more than someone working their first day, that’s what’s broken.

When your supervisor gives you the highest review possible and it translates to an 18 cent raise, that’s what’s broken.

When you have people working for over 6 years that are still yet to see $30,000/year, that’s what’s broken.

When you put a person in charge of training people and still pay them the same as the people they are training, that’s what’s broken.

When you have full time employees working second jobs just to make ends meet, that’s what’s broken.

When someone puts in their two week notice and the lose all their commission and vacation time, that's what's broken.

When you stress the importance of building a relationship with a client but then fail to keep those clients’ main contacts for much more than six months at a time, that’s what’s broken.

When you watch people who have been with your company for more than five years walk away because you aren’t willing to pay them what they’re worth, that’s what’s broken.

When you talk about 30% yearly growth meeting after meeting but fail to reward the employees that helped create that gain with the raises they deserve, that’s what’s broken. (Oh, and just a side note on this one. That constant growth doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the economy is in the tanks right now and people are going back to college in record numbers, filling schools to beyond capacity, does it?)

When you lay off people due to budgetary reasons and then turn around and buy a company plane, that’s what’s broken.

When the CEO cancels sales trips so he can take the company plane to the Bahamas, that’s what’s broken.

When you’re more concerned about developing the next product than you are about making sure the last one works correctly, that’s what’s broken.

This business can’t keep going like this. Especially if it wants to go worldwide like they claim. They have to build a better foundation first and that starts with treating their employees with respect, paying them for their wealth of knowledge, and stopping the mass turnover so you can build relationships with clients. Do you really think that clients will want to stay with a business when they talk to a different person every time they have an issue? How long do you think it will be before that turn-over rate starts happening with clients? This company is trying to put the cart before the horse, but all the horses are leaving. If this keeps up all they’re going to be left with is a shiny new cart with nobody to pull it.

I know this is probably falling on blind eyes and deaf ears. I’m just some lowly person who entered orders, helped clients and students with their issues, worked the ticket queue in IT, trying to figure out whose issue were most important so it could be dealt with soonest. I may not be there anymore but I know there are a hundred more like me. The difference between the haves and have-nots are huge. Your full time people need to make more money. I know this affects the bottom line. Maybe you have to hold off on buying a new car every three years instead of two, maybe your 2nd house is a little smaller, maybe you only buy $5000 rugs instead of $10,000 ones, maybe all the trophy wives, hand-picked from the company pool have to do a little house work, instead of having it done by the building maintenance crew. I really don’t know the formula. I just know that it has to happen for this company to do what it says it wants to.

For more stories of satisfied ex-Branchers check out the link here: http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Castle-Branch-Reviews-E381818.htm

Duh!!!!

Wow anyone want to comment on the actual topic of this story? Like how ironic it is that a drug screening company wants to bring 420 jobs to the area!!! And people think Potheads can't stay on topic. Lol

+1

On topic.... Jobs are a good thing.

**tokewoodGuest**

:}

castle branch

my comment is in no way sour grapes this is just to let people know that this company does not hire older people. so if you are over the age of 40 you may not have a shot. both my friend and i applied for jobs there about three or four years ago and we are both over 50 with tons of customer service/office experience between as well as excellent references with multi-million dollar corporations prior to living in Wilmington. we both got an interview i would guess because our resumes matched their criteria. the VERY NEXT DAY i got a rejection letter so they must have typed it up after i walked out the door. as i said before, this is not sour grapes. i thank God i have a job and have been working steadily for the past three years. if you saw the recent 6 o'clock news clip of their office, it showed young/under 40 just out of college types. hopefully with the expansion, this company will welcome older professionals

What a relief!

All you've done is saved yourself some stress. Count your stars lucky that is company "passed" on you. They pay no money, don't appreciate they're employees, and are running this company into the ground. I know. I used to work there. I'm sure that wherever you're at is far better than working for The Branch.

really?

420 ? Does that number mean anything eles?

jobs

Drug Screening Company......4:20 jobs.....blahhhh....hahahahahah

new reporet

why do you announce the termination of Leland Police officers and dont provide pictures -yet the very next news is how 4 under age (18) are promontly accused of the crimes they are charged with and not alleged charges -THEY DID IT with their pictures. Your network is another example of the backward good ol boy system . The law will eventually weed out all the bad apples we have in this new hanover and brunswick areas. I for one cant wait to see it happen

Why would you put comments

Why would you put comments on this page when what you have to say has nothing to do with this story?

How old are these so-called "under age" kids? If they are 16 and older then they are not considered juveniles and their names and their pictures are a matter of public record and can be posted.

What difference does it really make to you whether or not the dirty cops have their pictures posted? They are no longer in uniform, therefore they no longer have any authority to abuse, so you should not be affected in any way by them.

"THEY DID IT with their pictures"

Do you mean that they committed the crimes with their pictures or that THEY did when they had the pictures on them and were they actually NOT alleged crimes and was that in some way BECAUSE of their pictures?

I'm so confused ... Oh wait, I meant to say YOU sound confused. Of course, some of my saying that might have to do with the fact that your post had nothing at all to do with the topic at hand.

Gee, sometimes I'd sure like to take some of what you're taking. Must be like a mini-vacation in a bottle.

No Report!

Hey Mr. or Mrs. creekmoreGuest,
WWAY has not "reporetde" anything on the "Leland Five" as of yet. so I don't know what YOU are talking about. As for the "Leland Five" they got the worst attorney in the world to "help" them out of their misery. Tommy Hicks has nothing but failed defenses thus far. They are finally getting what they derserve! I believe that Garotsio is still in prison where he belongs. These "Five" belong there too! Oh by the way No Cops know Cops!