Statewide: Western region, June 2014

 In 2014-06

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STATEWIDE Western Region

Wingate reinforces its western flank

Wingate University is spreading its wings in Hendersonville, 140 miles west of its main Union County campus, by leasing 60,000 square feet in a $16.2 million health-education center planned by local governments, Blue Ridge Community College and Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital. Wingate, which opened a Hendersonville campus in 2011 for pharmacy, physician-assistant and MBA programs, expects to triple enrollment there to more than 250 students after construction is completed in December 2015. Three-hundred community-college students enrolled in health-education studies also will use the center. The city is paying for the land, valued at $641,200, and the county is paying for construction. Officials hope the project will help attract manufacturers of medical products, adding to plants in the region owned by Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark and Fletcher-based All-States Medical Supply.
Buncombe County gets a turbo boost
BorgWarner Turbo Systems will invest $55 million and add 154 jobs to its existing 650 over five years in its plant in Arden. The jobs will pay an average annual salary of $69,524, almost double Buncombe County’s average of $35,784. The company, a division of Auburn Hills, Mich.-based BorgWarner, makes turbochargers that increase the horsepower of car, commercial-truck and race-car engines. The company expects production at the plant to double over five years to meet increased demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. BorgWarner, which opened the factory in 1977, had sales of $7.4 billion last year — $5 billion of that came from engine-related products. It operates 60 plants in 19 countries and will receive a $126,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund if job-creation and investment targets are met.

EAST FLAT ROCKElkamet will add 20 jobs to its 54-worker plant here and invest more than $2.5 million over three years. The German manufacturer makes plastic parts for motorcycles and construction equipment, including fuel tanks. Jobs will pay an average of $36,400, slightly higher than Henderson County’s average of $33,824.

HUDSONLa-Z-Boy will discontinue production of wood furniture at its Kincaid Furniture plant here by Oct. 31. The Monroe, Mich.-based company will move warehouse and repair operations from two North Wilkesboro factories, which it plans to sell by year-end. About 100 workers will lose their jobs. La-Z-Boy’s wood furniture will be made in Asia.

SPRUCE PINEBuck Stove will invest $1 million and add 30 to 50 jobs to its 95-employee manufacturing plant. The company makes wood- and gas-fired stoves and outdoor-living products. It recently partnered with artist Bob Timberlake and Greensboro-based Earthstone Products to make patio products from recycled materials.

SPINDALEAlliance Precision Plastics will invest $1.3 million in equipment and machinery in its 30,000-square-foot plant here. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company performs custom injection-molding.

SPRUCE PINE — A federal judge sentenced Randy Alan Carpenter to 27 months in prison and ordered him to pay $507,995 to the Internal Revenue Service for charges connected to his role in Village of Penland, a failed real-estate development near here. Carpenter, 57, pleaded guilty to false statements on his tax returns. Five other defendants previously were sentenced in the scheme, which investigators say defrauded banks and investors of more than $82 million.


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