Santa arrives early

Published 5:48 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

ENFIELD– Santa Claus got a head start this year on his annual trek around the world.

On Thursday, Gov. Bev Perdue announced that Klausner Lumber Two, a privately-owned softwood timber manufacturer, will establish a state-of-the-art sawmill in Halifax County. The company plans to create 350 jobs over the next three years and invest $110 million.

The project was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund.

“Creating jobs is my top priority and the fact that globally competitive companies continue to make investments like this in North Carolina proves that our history of investing in education and job creation has paid off,” Gov. Perdue said. “Our highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce will serve Klausner’s high-tech advanced manufacturing needs well.”

The Klausner family has been in the sawmilling business for nearly a century. Klausner currently operates two mills inGermany, with the company’s headquarters based in Tyrol, Austria. The company produces custom-sized rough and planed lumber products that are used in the construction, pressure-treating, secondary processing, furniture and packaging industries.

Klausner mills are known for being among the most productive worldwide. The proposed Enfield mill will produce construction quality lumber and structural timber for domestic and world markets.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average wage of the new positions is $32,603 per year.  The Halifax County average wage is $27,924 per year.

To help facilitate this project, the company has been awarded a grant of up to $750,000 from the state’s One North Carolina Fund. This fund assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects deemed by the Governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. One North Carolina Fund grants require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.

“This is a great economic development project for Halifax County,” said James Pierce, chair of the Halifax Board of Commissioners.“Klausner will find the skilled workforce they need to thrive and succeed here in North Carolina.”

In addition, the state Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Klausner Lumber. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the terms of JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 75 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the eleven years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If Klausner Lumber meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for eleven years, the JDIG could yield as much as $3.91 million in maximum benefits for the company.

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Halifax County,Town of Enfield, NC Rural Center, Halifax County Economic Development Commission, Halifax County Board of Commissioners, Halifax County Business Horizons, Inc. and Halifax Electric Membership Corporation.

For more information about Klausner Lumber, including job opportunities, visit