The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the Town of Mocksville a $212,000 grant to support the renovation of a 194,000-square-foot building that is occupied by Comfort Bilt® Windows and Doors, a subsidiary of Larson Manufacturing, which manufactures storm doors and windows. The company plans to invest over $500,000 to expand production at the facility, creating as many as 50 new jobs over the next two years.
The plant will begin producing an additional line of storm doors with retractable screens next year. To provide space for the increased production, Larson’s distribution center will move to an adjacent building and the current facility will be up-fitted and reconfigured to improve efficiency and productivity.
“Adding jobs is always exciting,” said Michael Barron, plant manager, “and this expansion allows us to lay things out the way we want them, not the way they have had to be because of space limitations. A lot has changed at the plant over the years.”
Over 10,000,000 Doors Since 1999
Comfort Bilt® began operations in Mocksville in 1999 with just one product. Today, nine different product lines are manufactured by 200 dedicated employees residing in Davie and surrounding counties.
Over the past nineteen years, the Mocksville plant has manufactured more than 10 million stock and custom storm doors and windows, including many sold at Lowe’s and other home improvement stores.
Comfort Bilt became the first tenant of the SouthPoint Business Park on Hwy 601 after its parent company, headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota, began seeking an East Coast location.
According to Barron, the company desired a location in a growing area near an interstate, with competitive property prices, good utilities, and a skilled labor force where it could develop a good working relationship with city and county government. It found all of that in Davie County.
Since then, Comfort Bilt and the SouthPoint Business Park have helped fuel the manufacturing boom that has provided Davie County with hundreds of needed jobs as well as an increased tax base.
Economic Development is a Team Sport in Davie County
“Comfort Bilt became the first tenant in Davie County’s first spec building and look what’s happened since!” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “Bringing Comfort Bilt to Mocksville provided the beginning of a resurgence in manufacturing jobs in Davie County that continues to this day, but that resurgence didn’t begin by itself, it was the result of hard work, vision, and teamwork. It began with the vision and investment of Joe Hollingsworth and The Hollingsworth Companies as they built the SouthPoint Business Park, it continued with the help of the Rural Infrastructure Authority and the Golden Leaf Foundation to assist with infrastructure improvements. It also required the dedicated leadership and hard work of our city, county and state officials, AND the leadership and vision of the Larson Company and Comfort Bilt. As I’ve said before, economic development in Davie County, North Carolina is a team sport.”
“It has been rewarding to watch Comfort Bilt’s growth, and we wish them continued success.
About the Rural Infrastructure Authority
The Rural Infrastructure Authority was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the NC Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the Division include assistance for building reuse and restoration, water and sewer infrastructure, and economic innovation in rural communities.success.”
Comfort Bilt is Hiring
The company is currently hiring as many as 20 new employees in preparation for the new product line that debuts next year. In addition to good benefits and new performance bonuses, Barron is proud of the little extras the company offers its employees like turkeys and hams at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and fun activities for full-time employees and their families that have included trips to Carowinds and the zoo. For more information, visit www.comfortbilt.com.
About the Rural Infrastructure Authority
The Rural Infrastructure Authority was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the NC Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the Division include assistance for building reuse and restoration, water and sewer infrastructure, and economic innovation in rural communities.
About the Golden LEAF Foundation
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 971 grants worth over $459 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684-8404.