Gov. Bev Perdue made the announcement last week that parent company UFS Holdings-Premiere Fibers, Inc. plans to invest $2.5 million in the Ansonville operation, an investment made possible in part by a $50,200 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
UFS, or Universal Fiber Systems, is headquartered in Virginia. The company also has facilities in China and Thailand, in addition to the Premiere Fibers, Inc. plant in Ansonville. The plant produces synthetic continuous filament for diverse uses in the military, industrial, technical, apparel, hosiery, upholstery and other markets.
"We are not your typical yarn producer," said Premiere Fibers president John Amirtharaj. "We make very unique yarns, including several yarns that we are the only ones in North America to produce."
An engineer, Amirtharaj said the Ansonville plant is in competition not only with other yarn and textile producers worldwide, but also with the parent company's other plants in Bristol, Va., China and Thailand. "We all have to fight for the same money, we all have to fight for the same expansion," he explained. "Luckily, we are always able to justify what we do on the basis of technology, our engineering skills."
He pointed out that 12 engineers work in the plant, pretty much around-the-clock, and the operation centers around technology and new ideas. "If we make it like everybody else, we won't be able to compete," he said.
County Commissioners Chair Anna Baucom praised Amirtharaj and Premiere Fibers, saying that she remembered the plant being there for a very long time. "You don't get a lot of attention," she said, "but we appreciate you and what you're doing."
Amirtharaj pointed out that this is the first grant Premiere Fibers has received in his 27 years there. "It means a lot when someone recognizes you for your hard work," he added.
N.C. Senator William Purcell, who was present for the official announcement on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 30, said that his main work in the Senate is to try to get jobs back to North Carolina, particularly Anson County, which has been especially hard hit by unemployment.
Rep. Pryor Gibson was unable to attend but stated in a press release, “North Carolina continues to be a great state for businesses to locate and expand because of our tremendous workforce and Anson County welcomes these new jobs."
“North Carolina remains attractive to national manufacturing firms, thanks to our skilled workforce, superb quality of life and business-friendly policies,” Perdue said in a press release. “Companies like UFS Holdings are succeeding through the investment and jobs they bring to our state.”
Premiere Fibers plans to convert an existing yarn spinning line at its Ansonville facility to produce high-performance fabrics for the military. Salaries for the 20 new positions will vary by job function, but the overall average wage will be $24,204 a year, not including benefits. The positions will include operations technicians, process technicians, some engineers and some maintenance technicians. Amirtharaj said he expects hiring to start fairly quickly, hopefully this month.
He added that if this expansion goes well, "we may be open for even bigger gains for all four [plants] in June of next year. We will be working very hard to make that happen here."
For more information about Premiere Fibers Inc., please visit: www.premierefibers.com. Resumes may be sent to: jcauble@Premierefibers.com.