WENTWORTH — A manufacturer of diaper and feminine hygiene products will bring $96 million in capital investment and 403 new jobs to Rockingham County in the coming months, according to economic development officials and the CEO of the Belgium-based Ontex Group, Charles Bouaziz.
As Ontex’s first U.S. production site, the plant is scheduled to open in April or May 2021 in Carroll Industrial Development’s South Rockingham Corporate Park, the county’s newest such industrial setting, officials announced during a Tuesday morning press conference at the Rockingham County Governmental Center.
The company, which produces disposable products, including adult and baby diapers and feminine hygiene items, has manufacturing facilities in 16 other countries.
“Following the previously-announced decision to invest in manufacturing in the eastern part of the country to complement shipments from abroad, we are proud to announce the forthcoming opening of Ontex’s first U.S. production site,” Bouaziz said in a news release Tuesday. “With this meaningful step we accelerate the execution of our strategic priority to increase our U.S. presence.”
“We are excited to add Ontex to our industrial base and look forward to a long-term partnership ensuring their success,” said Leigh Cockram, Rockingham County Economic Development Director, explaining jobs will pay an annual average of about 40,000.
While the company is not yet taking applications for its positions, there will no doubt be heavy interest as the state faces the highest unemployment rate recorded in a decade, calculated Friday by the North Carolina Commerce Department at 12.2%.
“This announcement is not only a great opportunity for job expansion in our area, but also solidifies that Rockingham County, including the South Rockingham County Corporate Park, is positioned well for future growth.”