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STATE: Stainless steel sink manufacturer Elkay to expand operations in Robeson

Elkay Manufacturing, a producer of sinks and water delivery products, will expand its operations in Robeson County, leading to the creation of 20 jobs, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday. The company will invest $5.5 million in a facility in Lumberton, becoming the first tenant in the Lumberton/Robeson County I-95/I-74 Industrial Park.

“Elkay’s expansion plus its selection of the new Robeson County industrial park brings twice the good news,” said Cooper. “Rural North Carolina can offer the industrial sites, workforce, and transportation systems that manufacturers expect to find in a world-class business location.”

Family-owned since 1920, Elkay has been making products and delivering customer care for over a century. While well-known as America’s top selling kitchen sink company, Elkay’s commercial offerings, springing from an expansion more than four decades ago, today delivers faucets, water coolers, drinking fountains, Smartwell Water Delivery Systems and the award-winning ezH2O bottle filling stations, in addition to stainless steel and quartz sinks. Headquartered in the United States in Downers Grove, Illinois, Elkay employs more than 2,400 employees worldwide, working from 28 locations across the U.S., China and Mexico. The company’s Robeson County site serves as a central production hub for the Eastern United States.

“We are blessed to be experiencing a period of significant business growth, with much of this product manufactured right here in our Lumberton facility,” said Ken Blazer, Director, Global Distribution & Logistics for Elkay. “In order to support this expansion, we are moving our distribution function from the Lumberton facility to this new location, freeing up space for additional manufacturing capacity. Once the new distribution site is operational, we expect to be able to add manufacturing and distribution roles to our workforce to support our five-year growth strategy.”

“North Carolina’s advantages as a business location once again prove their merit,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “In addition to our excellent workforce, our state’s central, east coast location and strong road network offers companies like Elkay an ideal location from which to grow.”

The company’s new jobs will yield an average salary of $48,960, although actual wages will vary by position. The Robeson County average annual wage is $33,454. Once the projects’ new jobs are in place, the local region will benefit from a nearly $1 million payroll impact in the community, each and every year.

A performance-based grant of $50,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Elkay’s expansion in Robeson County. The OneNC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All OneNC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

“Elkay is an important employer in our region and has been a long-time employer in Robeson County for many years. It is great to see them expand,” said N.C. Rep. Charles Graham. “These new jobs and the company’s investment will bring more prosperity and growth to the area; this is great news for Robeson County.”

“Many people have encouraged Elkay’s expansion and helped develop our new industrial park,” said N.C. Sen. Danny Britt. “Today we open the first chapter of this new opportunity, for both Elkay and for the people of Robeson County and the surrounding area.”

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Golden LEAF Foundation, Robeson County and the Robeson County Office of Economic Development.