Richmond County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kenneth Robinette announced Wednesday that Knit-Rite, Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase a building in Hamlet, where it will move its 56 North Carolina employees.
The move will mean new jobs and new investment for the county.
The company is currently located at 126 Mill Street, in Ellerbe, and will be relocating to 167 Marks Creek Lane, in Hamlet.
Ellerbe Mayor Olivia Webb said that she’s happy the company is growing, even if it means leaving Ellerbe.
“Expansion is good news for everyone,” said Webb. “I am glad that Therafirm is growing, and I am grateful for the fact that they are keeping their business here in Richmond County.”
Knit-Rite, Inc., a national producer of specialized socks and hosiery for various medical markets, will be looking to add an additional 38 jobs and invest approximately $4.5 million in the facility over the next five years. Many of the new jobs will involve skilled manufacturing, and Richmond Community College works closely with the company to provide employee training.
“Therafirm is a progressive company that continues to improve its products and invest in technology,” said Lee Eller, customized training program director at Richmond Community College. “The company invests in its employees by allowing RCC to provide the training that teaches employees how to analyze and solve quality issues.”
As part of an incentive package, the City of Hamlet will be working with the company to make improvements and upgrades for water and sewer systems at the new location.
“We work with businesses that need infrastructure and utility upgrades whenever we can,” said City Manager Marchell Adams-David.
“We have been working with Richmond County Economic Development for over a year in trying to find the best solution for future expansion in Richmond County,” said Chris Vering, EVP and COO of Knit-Rite, Inc. “We are excited to expand our business and to invest in the local community. Without the building we have located, we would have been forced to look elsewhere, outside of Richmond County.”
“Finding a location that was a fit for our business objectives and our employees was very important in our decision-making process,” said Mark Smith, president of Knit Rite, Inc. “We highly value our employees and their commitment to our success. Richmond County has been a good location, and we are excited to move forward with this expansion.”
This is the second time in three years that Knit-Rite, Inc. has increased its employment and investment in Richmond County, according to Robinette.
“We are very excited that they continue to grow and have chosen Richmond County as the place they want to invest,” said Robinette. “It is another example of the industry-friendly environment we have created in Richmond County.”
“Knit-Rite is a good example of a manufacturing company innovating and adapting to the global economy and continuing to grow even during difficult economic times,” said County Commissioner John Garner. “A trained workforce is critical to their continued success and they have found a training partner in Richmond Community College that keeps them competitive.”
“I am excited about the relocation of Therafirm to Hamlet,” said Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart. “The city is looking forward to a lasting partnership with the company. It is always beneficial to our community when jobs remain in Richmond County. We are happy to play a part in that.”
Knit-Rite, Inc. owns the Ellerbe location and will be working to market the property after the move.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com