CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — Steffes, a steel fabrication company, announced it will invest nearly $21 million in a new Cleveland County facility that will create 130 new jobs.
State, local and company leaders made the announcement Tuesday, saying the North Dakota-based company's newest facility will be located in Shelby. The average salary for all new positions will be $47,392, nearly $7,000 more than the average annual salary in Cleveland County.
"We are excited to welcome Steffes to North Carolina," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. "We know that when companies are ready to expand, they choose our state because of our ready workforce, exceptional quality of life, and robust infrastructure."
Steffes specializes in steel fabrication and electrical service for industries. The company has been in business for more than 40 years.
"This expansion is the realization of the company's strategic vision," said Todd Mayer, co-president of Steffes. "The combination of customers and friends in this area combined with the workforce potential and community support made Shelby the best fit for us."
Duke Hovis lives just down the road from Steffes' new facility.
"It's going to be good if they can get people to work," Hovis said. "Nobody wants to work anymore. Every place you see is hiring."
State, county and company leaders said they will be able to fill those jobs, citing North Carolina having the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast.
Company founder Paul Steffes said the fact Cleveland County and the city of Shelby already constructed a building they could easily move into allowed them to save them time and money, especially coming out of the pandemic.
"It was a painful year that felt like the sky was falling," Steffes said. "We had no idea what was going to happen, but, today, we are back on our feet and charging forward."
Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership's executive director, Kristin Reese, said city and county leaders felt pre-constructing "shell buildings" would quickly pay off.
"They knew this was the quickest path to be able to attract a manufacturer to our community," Reese said. "Listening to [Steffes] say that it took nearly a year off [their] planning process and construction process, I mean, that's huge."
Over the next dozen years, the state said this project will grow the economy by more than $244 million.
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