Advanced Manufacturing

Business is Booming

The industry of advanced manufacturing is thriving in Statesville. In fact, according to the Statesville Regional Development, the top 10 employers in the area include several advanced manufacturing companies, such as Doosan Portable Power, Kewaunee Scientific and Pratt Industries. This is thanks, in part, to the skilled workforce Statesville boasts and the amount of workforce development available to those looking to enter the field.

Doosan Portable Power, which manufactures products such as generators, air compressors and light towers, made Statesville its home in 2008.

“Originally, Statesville was chosen due to its proximity of our workforce that was transferring in from Mocksville to the east and Davidson to the south, but we’ve grown in Statesville due to access to a great workforce and the strong support from the community, including Mitchell Community College,” said Lance Mathern, vice president, Doosan Portable Power.

The field of advanced manufacturing is seeing a rise in job availability in Statesville.

“Our business is booming,” Mathern said. “We added 50 jobs in the month of February alone, many of which were in areas of advanced manufacturing, including advanced machining.”

Mitchell Community College also offers workforce development for those looking to build skills in the areas of welding, electrical technology and more, areas that Mathern said Doosan looks for when hiring new employees.

“We offer and provide on-the-job training in each of these areas,” Mathern said. “We also work closely with our local vocational school (CATS), the president of Career & Technical Education for Iredell County, Mitchell Community College and our local Chamber of Commerce to set eighth graders on a NC Pathway that will provide the necessary skills in the future. We also sponsor the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute initiative to prepare those seeking a career in manufacturing/assembly to earn a Certification in Production Technology. Each of these initiatives and supporting organizations are working together to create a skilled workforce that will benefit all businesses located in Iredell County.”

Kewaunee Scientific Corporation also sponsors North Carolina Manufacturing Institute and has called this corner of North Carolina home for more than 50 years. Kewaunee designs, manufactures and installs products such as movable workstations, biological safety cabinets and fume hoods for schools, universities, laboratories and government facilities, to name a few. In addition to the corporate headquarters, Kewaunee also has three manufacturing facilities in Statesville, where they manufacture products for both domestic and international markets. When it comes to their workforce, Kewaunee looks for skills including mechanical and hydraulic programming, performing electronic diagnostics and supply chain management.

Pratt Industries, the fifth largest corrugated packaging company in America, specializes in several areas, including clean energy, recycling, paper mills and corrugating. With locations across the world, Pratt came to Statesville for its ideal location.

“The proximity to multiple interstates, as well as city and county tax incentives, [is what brought Pratt to Statesville],” said Jonathan Adams, plant manager.

The Statesville plant specializes in corrugating, which focuses on finding ways to reduce paper weights through packing solutions that are made from 100 percent recycled materials. Skills that Pratt looks for when hiring include forklift operating, CDL driving and machine maintenance.

Also located in Statesville, HEXPOL Compounding, a Swedish-owned company, produces high-quality rubber compounds. Since opening in 1997, the North Carolina facility has manufactured a variety of products, such as endless slabs, strained and nonstrained compounds, molded envelopes, flame retardant compounds and curing tubes, using highly automated and fully process-controlled mixing lines.

HEXPOL products are used by a wide range of markets, including aerospace, water treatment, building and construction and automotive and tire retreading, as well as consumer and industrial markets, such as pharmaceutical, footwear, belts and plant linings. Additionally, HEXPOL offers leadership programs and technical training to employees looking to expand their skills and expertise.

Those looking to build their skills even more can take classes at Mitchell Community College for truck driver training, certified production technician, manufacturing and more.