Mount Olive, NC- The Wayne County Development Alliance (WCDA) went before the board of commissioners on August 2, 2016 to receive approval for an industrial incentive grant for a new company to locate in Mount Olive. The approval came just after the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced that U-Play, a China-Japan joint venture company will open its first US facility in Mount Olive, NC.
U-Play specializes in the manufacturing of adult hygiene products and puppy training pads. The purpose of the US investment is to better serve the company’s OEM customers and market their own “Made-In-USA” brand. U-Play has two factories in the city of Wuhu just west of Shanghai which consists of a total of 132,000 square feet. The company also heavily invests in R&D by setting up several labs with partners from the industry which brought the company more than 100 patents on adult incontinence products and puppy training pads.
An estimated investment of $20 million over a five year period in Wayne County will consist of two phases and create up to 88 new jobs.
The Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved an incentive grant of $56,730 to be paid over five years based on the Phase I investment of $3,750,000 and 30 new jobs. Phase II has an estimated investment of $15,000,000 and will require a separate incentive grant at that time. U-Play will also receive a One NC Grant from the State of North Carolina and will be applying for a Building Re-Use Grant both requiring a match from the local government.
The announcement of U-Play came to fruition through a collaborative effort between U-Play, Wayne County Development Alliance, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, NC Department of Commerce and the Stump Corporation.
“North Carolina is a fantastic place for our business because of its cluster of hygiene raw material suppliers, well-trained workforce, and business-friendly environment,” said Hancy Cheng, U-Play Corporation’s CEO. “We want to put together all these advantages to create a manufacturing hub for our company in Wayne County to better serve our customers in the US. Wayne County is the perfect location for our manufacturing facility in the US. It's close to two major interstate highways, I95 and I40. We can reach almost half of the US population in a radius of 600 miles from our location in Wayne County."
“We are excited U-Play has decided to make Wayne County/Mount Olive their U.S. home. This is a good example of global manufacturing trending in a positive direction for the U.S”, says Chairman Bob Kornegay, Wayne County Development Alliance.
Wayne County Commissioner Chair, Joe Daughtery stated, “I want to compliment the staff and board of WCDA for the hard work in promoting Wayne County for new industry. We were in competition with other states on this project; it is especially impressive to note that the international company chose Wayne County from the alternatives. Congratulations for a job well done and welcome U-Play to Wayne County”.
“North Carolina’s leadership in non-woven fabric manufacturing is bringing great jobs and investment dollars to Wayne County,” said Governor McCrory. “U-Play Corporation will tap into our state’s unique base of skills and expertise to provide a line of products that are in growing demand in the U.S. and abroad.”
“Mount Olive is proud that we were chosen to become part of a new venture. We welcome and look forward to a long relationship. With our business friendly environment and workforce, our community is excited. Our industrial park and airport adjacent to each other is very attractive to companies looking to settle here”, says, Joe Scott, Mount Olive Councilman.
Wayne County Development Alliance is a cooperative 501c(3) public/private, non-profit organization that provides the lead in economic development initiatives for the advancement of Wayne County NC and its citizens through the creation of meaningful jobs and purposeful capital investment. To learn more visit: waynealliance.org