Target distribution center opens in Newton

By Steve Ohnesorge - email

NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - It was three years in the making, but the ribbon was cut Tuesday on the new Target Distribution Center in Newton.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent building the place, but officials are more excited about the 500 jobs that came with it.

The place has actually been in operation for a couple of months, but Tuesday was the official opening.

Marty Humphries was on the unemployment line for four months before landing a job at the new distribution center.

"I was among the first 200 hired," Humphries said.

Bradely Saine also had a hard time finding work and is happy to be working for Target now.

"I think the future is great," he said.

With the unemployment rate above 15 percent in Catawba County, this ribbon cutting is symbolic of new jobs according to officials.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan says while the stimulus money is important to getting the national economy on its feet, there's no substitute for new jobs.

"Private investment like this Target Distribution Center is crucial to economic growth in North Carolina," she said.

The company says it picked Newton because of the people and how the work force graded out.

When the application period started several months ago, 14,000 applied for the 500 available jobs at the distribution center.

The center will supply more than 60 stores in three states.

Officials say it's a state-of-the-art facility and Target says it plans to be here a long time.

Target officials say the Newton facility is not the company's biggest distribution center, but it is the most technologically advanced center they have and among the top of any company in the nation.