300 new jobs coming to long-shuttered Navassa plant


NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of new jobs are coming to Brunswick County after state and local leaders announced a New Jersey company will set up shop at a long-shuttered factory in Navassa.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday afternoon that Pacon Manufacturing will bring 300 new to the old US Marine Plant on Quality Drive and invest $37 million. The factory closed in 2008.

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Pacon’s CEO said the company makes wipes for cleaning and facial cleaners.

According to Pacon’s website, the company has served the medical marketplace since 1949. The company makes single-use surgical drapes, towels, dressings and tape strips for kit packers and manufacturers of custom procedure trays.

Gov. Cooper said the announcement officially calls for 299 jobs, but that he negotiated before the event to add one more for a total of 300.

Brunswick County’s Business and Industry Development Executive Director Bill Early says this new business will fill a void that currently exists for employment opportunities in this community.

“It’s a wonderful day for Navassa,” Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis said.  “I wish I had more of these, but ‘hey’ you take them where you can get them…This is one of the cases when we we got really lucky and, hopefully, we’ll continue to build off this.”

Pacon is paving the way in economic growth for Brunswick County. Gov. Cooper calls this new venture a win for southeastern North Carolina.

“I think when you talk about trying to improve the lives of families the more jobs you can create [the better] and here we’re talking about approximately 300 jobs,” Gov. Cooper said. “This is going to make a real difference.”

Brunswick County Business and Industry Development has been working with this paper product company since August. When the former U.S. Marine plant in Navassa went on the market, the company jumped on the site, but it will be months before production will begin.

“Part of this project requires for them to be able to put in dock level doors,” Early said. “There are actually two buildings on this property… They will be connecting the two buildings together and in that [other half] will be putting in dock level doors for the shipping and receiving area.”

Developers estimate the average worker salary will be around $32,000. The goal is to offer these jobs to people within this community.

“We believe this is the start of even more here,” Gov. Cooper said. “There is a lot of positive belief that there is more to come.”

The company’s move to Navassa has been rumored for months, but with few public details. It had been known as “Project Pavement.”

In January, Brunswick County commissioners voted to support a grant to help the business move to the old plant. Commissioners supported sending an application to the NC Department of Commerce for a Building Reuse grant in the amount of $700,000, with the county agreeing to provide $35,000.

A listing for the property said it includes more than 336,000 square feet on 60 acres with access to the Cape Fear River via a 140-foot dock and CSX rail service available. The property, with a list price of $8.5 million, has been shown as “under contract” for months.

If you’re wondering when can you start applying, developers estimate jobs will be available by the end of the year, once building renovation is complete.