Scattered clouds (a bit more cloudiness north & west)
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Gov. Pat McCrory (left) and Congressman Mark Meadows (right) congratulated plant workers and celebrated the state’s continuing economic recovery Friday, marking a $35 million expansion at the Continental Teves Henderson County plant in one of the region's fastest growing industrial areas on Boyleston Highway 280 between Fletcher and Mills River.
The auto parts manufacturer employs some 600 workers locally and plans to add another 40 jobs to the area economy.
“Today, for the first time in seven years, North Carolina is now below the national average for unemployment,” McCrory announced at the grand opening ceremony.
In February, North Carolina’s jobless rate dropped to 6.4 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Last year, our unemployment was at 9.4 percent. Now down to 6.4 percent, that’s quite a drop,” McCrory said.
An improving economy — with car sales ticking back up — led to Continental’s investment in the local plant. Each week 60,000 vehicles equipped with Continental brake parts roll off the assembly lines of 25 plants around the world.
“Thanks to the growing demand for brake calipers and the overall economic turnaround in North America, we have nearly tripled our regional production at the Henderson facility over the past three years,” said Samir Salman, chief executive officer for Continental North America.
Continental announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion as few years ago...and has honored that committment by adding more new jobs and continuing growth.
Governor McCrory, Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, and other state and local officials attended the event this past Friday at the Continental plant.
(Photo from the Hendersonville Times-News)