RUTHERFORDTON -- Bonita Manufacturing Products, Inc., doing business as Bonita Pioneer, is locating its North Carolina manufacturing operations in Rutherford County. The company plans to create 50 jobs and invest more than $2.8 million over the next three years in Forest City. "Today's job announcement shows that by working together and effectively leveraging our state's talent and resources, North Carolina can be a leader in manufacturing," said Governor Pat McCrory in a press release. “Bonita Pioneer will continue to grow nationally, and Rutherford County’s strong workforce stands ready to deliver.”
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Bonita Pioneer is an award winning international supplier of custom and stock packaging products. The company produces paper shopping bags, gift wrap, merchandise bags, and folding cartons. Their products are used in retail and commercial applications throughout the United States and Canada.
“As someone who calls Rutherford County home, I am thrilled to see Bonita Pioneer’s commitment to bring new jobs and economic development to our state,” said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “By emphasizing workforce development, training and education, North Carolina will continue to lead the way in the resurgence of American manufacturing.”
Bonita Pioneer plans to establish a facility to manufacture paper shopping bags with twisted paper handles in order to provide better service to existing customers in the eastern portion of the United States, and further grow business.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $32,020 plus benefits. The Rutherford County average annual wage is $31,347.
“We are extremely excited to announce the establishment of this manufacturing and distribution facility in Rutherford County, North Carolina,” said Thomas Shaw, vice president of manufacturing. “We conducted an exhaustive search throughout the southeastern portion of the United States. The reception we received throughout North Carolina was amazing and made for a very difficult decision-making process in selecting the county in which to locate this operation. We are aware of the rich manufacturing history and great work ethic that exists in this state, as well as, the central location which will allow us to provide much improved service to our customers in the eastern portion of the US.”
Shaw continued, “I cannot express how appreciative I am of the efforts made by the Governor’s Office, the Department of Commerce team, and finally, Rutherford County and their Economic Development group, in assisting us throughout this entire process. They have been a pleasure to interact with.”
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $75,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state.
Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
“Manufacturing companies like Bonita Pioneer know that Rutherford County is just the place for their company to grow and flourish,” said Representative Mike Hager. “The additional skilled manufacturing jobs that they’ll create will strengthen the local economy of the county and demonstrates the strong talent pool and attractive quality of life that characterizes our region of the state.”
“North Carolina has a proud manufacturing heritage,” said Senator Ralph Hise. “Helping our state’s manufacturing industry grow has been an important part of my overall economic development strategy, and I thank Governor McCrory and Secretary Decker for their continued focus on creating jobs in Rutherford County.”
Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Isothermal Community College, Rutherford County, and the Rutherford County Economic Development Commission.
“We want to thank Bonita Pioneer for their investment in Rutherford County and their confidence in our citizens whom they will employ,” said Rutherford County Commission Chairman Bill Eckler. “Rutherford County is very pro-business and we look forward to Bonita Pioneer growing and thriving in Rutherford County.”