BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The expansion of Meridian Specialty Yarn Group in Valdese will add about 25 new jobs over the next five years, leaders announced Friday.
Yarn is dyed at the facility in Burke County and is used in several products from clothing to upholstery and carpet.
To workers like Mary Chang, it's far more than just string.
"I actually was just applying anywhere to get a job because I needed a job," Chang said.
She's one of about 140 employees excited about the new $8 million building coming sometime before 2017.
The project will be supported by grants from the town of Valdese and Burke County, totaling $900,000. The project is contingent upon the creation of at least 25 jobs and the plant continuing to purchase water from the town.
In addition, the North Carolina Department of Commerce is adding grants of almost $2 million to upgrade the town's water and wastewater facilities.
Yarn is dyed in Valdese, but you'll see it in brand names like Ralph Lauren Polo, Under Armour and Wigham socks.
Some textile operations may not be what they once were, but MSYG President Tim Manson likes the direction things are going for his company.
"I think it certainly shows that demand is coming back on shore, we've certainly seen that in our product line," Manson said.
Setting up shop elsewhere was an option for the company looking to expand.
As things unraveled, keeping operations in the state and the work force in the town of about 5,000, was a win for Valdese and North Carolina.
"To have that payroll flowing through a community, workers here, employees here that are purchasing items, within the community so it affects the community in a number of ways," said Patricia Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development within the North Carolina Department of Commerce.