Economic Development News October 27, 2020

Taiji Medical Supplies to bring 374-job project to Lincoln County in response to Covid-19 outbreak

Earlier this month, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority announced it had awarded a grant for a medical supplies manufacturer in Lincoln County. The grant, which would help fund the reuse of an existing buidling, will go to Lincoln County for an expansion by Taiji Medical Supplies.

In the announcement, the state said the project would create 79 jobs with $12.2 million in investment. But, it appears the long-term scope of the project is greater than that.

County documents show more jobs and investment will come from the project over the years. The Rural Building Reuse and Infrastructure application form the county submitted for the project said the expansion would create 374 new jobs at an average wage of $42,139. Kara Brown, business development manager for the Lincoln Economic Development Association, confirmed to the Charlotte Business Journal that is what's expected over the next five years.

At its Oct. 19 meeting, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved incentives for the project. In county documents from the meeting, it shows an expected investment of $15.6 million over the next three years. Brown also confirmed that figure, saying the state's announcement for jobs and investment was referring to a shorter term outlook. The county documents refer to the total number of jobs and investment for the project upon full buildout, she said.

Taiji Medical Supplies occupies an existing, 115,924-square-foot building in Lincolnton at 3211 Progress Drive. Brown said the company's lease there started around June, but it was waiting for the state grant award to begin building renovations.

The manufacturer is expected to investment millions in machinery and equipment for the facility and over $500,000 in building renovations, documents show. The renovations needed for the building are "extensive," documents say, with improvements needed to doors, hardware, drywall, HVAC, painting and insulation, among other items.

Lincoln County landed the expansion over competition from South Carolina, documents say.

The county approved an Economic Development Industrial Incentive Grant for the project, which would pay $51,214.50 annually for seven years, documents say. The state RIA grant is worth $250,000 under the vacant building category in the state's building reuse program.

Taiji's new operations in Lincoln County are a direct response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The facility will produce medical masks and N95 respirators. Documents state the plans for production are ambitious. Upon full ramp up, 500,000 N95 masks and 1 million regular medical masks will be produced at the facility per day, documents say.

The parent company of Taiji Medical Supplies, which is a new operation, is China-based paper tube manufacturer Taiji Chemical Fiber Equipment LLC. A sister company of Taiji Medical Supplies also has operations in the Charlotte region. Taiji Group USA, located in Conover since 2013, manufactures paper tubes. Documents state it employs about 50 employees in Catawba County.

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Copyright:   – Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal