In May, COTY announced plans to close its manufacturing and distribution plant in Rocky Point by year’s end, but the Medicia company says the plant has potential.
On Monday, Pender County Commissioners approved almost a half-million dollars in incentives to support the company’s proposal to take over the COTY plant.
More than 500 people were told they would lose their jobs when COTY announced it’s shutdown.
“Clearly, once we got the indication that that was going to happen it became an imperative for us to find somebody either to take over that space or to hopefully be able to take advantage of that operation,” said Scott Satterfield of Wilmington Industrial Development.
Medicia, a company that makes personal care products and handles over the counter drug preparations, says the Rocky Point plant has potential. The company is considering investing $25 million dollars over the next five years.
Monday, Pender County Commissioners tried to help make the decision easier by approving more than $400,000 in incentives for the company.
“This is a tough area, it’s a tough economy, but there’s so much opportunity here and so every job we can get, we’re working hard to do that,” said Rick Benton, Pender County Manager.
Medicia would bring more than 500 full time jobs to the area and employ hundreds of temporary workers.
With unemployment in Pender County hovering around 11 percent, and 60 percent of the workforce employed outside the county, Pender officials are focused on bringing in new employers.
“We’re building an industrial park, a shell building, we’re doing a variety of things to position the county to attract jobs,” Benton said.
If Medicia decides to buy the Pender County plant, it could provide a big economic ripple effect.
“Possibly that could mean more investment, more jobs, more opportunities in southeastern North Carolina,” Satterfield said.
Pender County officials say the $25 million investment would bring the county an estimated $1.5 million in tax revenue over ten years. No word yet on whether Medicia will retain the COTY employees.