One North Carolina Fund grant helps Menlo Worldwide expansion

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North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley announced Friday, May 25, that Menlo Worldwide will expand in the state by opening a new distribution and logistics facility in Duplin County, creating 30 jobs and investing $1.2 million during the next three years. The announcement was made possible in part by a $30,000 One North Carolina Fund grant.

“Menlo Worldwide’s decision to expand in North Carolina reflects our commitment to build a business-friendly environment that encourages companies to grow and expand,” Easley said. “Companies from across the country and around the world know they can find the facilities and resources they need for success.”

Menlo Worldwide, a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., is a global provider of logistics, transportation management and supply chain services, with operations in North America and 20 countries. As a third-partly logistics provider, San Mateo, Calif.-based Menlo Worldwide’s services range from dedicated contract logistics to warehouse and distribution management, transportation management, supply chain re-engineering and other services, including packaging, kitting, order fulfillment and light assembly through a strategic network of multi-client and dedicated facilities. The company employs 47 associates in North Carolina at facilities in Charlotte, Concord and Durham.

The new jobs will encompass a variety of logistics and distribution services positions, such as receiving, inventory control, order fulfillment, crating and packing, shipping, customer service and warehouse management. While wages will vary by job function, the average weekly wage of the new jobs will be $533 plus benefits, which is higher than the Duplin County average weekly wage standard of $494, not including benefits.

“When we compared North Carolina’s Duplin County against other locations, we found several factors in its favor — superior infrastructure, a supportive business climate coupled with incentives to encourage expansion, and a plentiful labor supply,” said Tom Mabry, director of global account management for Menlo. “Another key factor was proximity to our customers’ manufacturing plants and to the Port of Wilmington. It’s strategic to our network and our customers, and will provide a good platform for growth going forward.”

The One North Carolina Fund assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. One North Carolina Fund grants require and are contingent upon a local match. Through the use of this fund, more than 25,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in investment have been created since 2001.

“Effective economic development depends on the cooperation and teamwork of government, business and education,” said state Rep. Russell Tucker (D-Duplin). “This decision by Menlo Worldwide is another example of how our state’s economic development policies encourage cooperation that gets results.”

“Our state had adopted policies that have us ranked at the top in offering a business-friendly environment,” said State Sen. Charles Albertson (D-Duplin). “I will continue to work in the state Senate to adopt policies that help our communities and encourage businesses to grow.”

Other partners who helped make this announcement possible include the N.C. Department of Commerce, the N.C. Employment Security Commission, James Sprunt Community College, Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, North Carolina State Ports Authority, the Town of Warsaw and Progress Energy.