Salisbury Post Newspaper

Thursday, February 13, 2020

LINWOOD — While EGGER Wood Products isn’t located in Rowan County, its proximity to Salisbury will allow local residents an opportunity to be hired for hundreds of positions the company needs.

EGGER Wood Products, a wood-based manufacturer headquartered in Austria, has began hiring local residents and plans to begin operation by the end of 2020.

With 19 other sites across the globe, Davidson County is the first U.S. location for the company. The county attracted the company primarily because of the furniture industry presence in the region and workforce availability, according to Human Resources Director Diana Reed and Plant Manager for Finance and Administration Gerald Jobst.

Additionally, the Linwood site, which is just a couple exits away from Salisbury, provides transportation logistics including Interstate 85 and international flight availability at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

EGGER’s products include thermally fused laminate and particleboards. Some of the clients of the company are the furniture industry, architects and designers. The company also will work through distributors to sell products.

Reed said the company has already hired 200 employees, with an intent to have nearly 400 in the next six-eight months. Right now, the company is hiring maintenance and forklift drivers, among other positions, on Indeed.com and social media.

Additionally, EGGER is participating in the Davidson and Davie Apprenticeship Consortium. The program allows employees to grow with the company and undergo four years of paid training and schooling to develop electrical and mechanical skills.

“The intent is for (employees) to grow with us,” Reed said, adding that the company wants to “support the community we’re in.”

EGGER will continue to select applicants for the next training program until March 13.

Craig Goodson, who serves as president of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, said the estimated total economic impact will exceed $1 billion, citing it as the largest capital investment in the history of the county.

He credited EGGER with providing a “three-pronged benefit,” including the cooperation with Davidson County Community College to develop curriculum, providing training on-site at the company and being “instrumental in getting the consortium program off the ground.”

Since the plant is located just a few minutes away from Rowan County, which also provides a pool of workers for the company, the company is a positive impact for Rowan, too, said Rowan County Economic Development Commission President Rod Crider.

“It’s going to help us further develop a cluster of manufacturing for this region,” Crider said, adding that Chewy.com’s fulfillment center on Long Ferry Road and EGGER serve as two major facilities that can attract other businesses to the region.

The EGGER plant’s full development is spread out across three phases for a 15-year plan, with more opportunities to hire hundreds more employees. The first phase — a $500 million investment — includes the development of offices, training centers and design centers, which has been completed, as well as thermally fused laminate and particleboard production facilities set to begin operation in the second half of the year. The two additional phases will include any necessary expansions or additional productions.

EGGER will host a job fair on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 300 EGGER Parkway to fill 125 production positions. Priority positions will include forklift drivers, installation assistants, machine operators, maintenance technicians, controls technicians and machine lubrication technicians.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at (704) 797-4246.