North Wilkesboro, N.C.— Wilkes Economic Development Corporation hosted a Ground-breaking Ceremony on Tuesday, March 30, for the Town of North Wilkesboro to commenceconstruction on a new 500,000-gallon, approximately 140-foot-tall water tank. The new tank will provide the necessary water pressure for the fire safety sprinkler systems at JELD-WEN Inc.’s NorthWilkesboro plant expansion. It will also improve hydraulics of the town water system from RiverRoad-Liberty Grove Road to N.C. Highway 268 East, an area currently served by an elevatedstorage tank and 12-inch water main off Flint Hill Road.
In November 2020, the Town of North Wilkesboro approved a $2.26 million bid for the water tower. Indiana-based Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors LLC won the bid. The town is contributing $1.48 million to the project with two economic development grants covering the remaining cost. The N.C. Department of Commerce is funding a $580,000 Community Development Block Grant, andthe Golden LEAF Foundation is contributing $200,000.The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is providing a $1.9 million low-interest Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan to the Town of North Wilkesboro.
“The provision of water is one of the Town of North Wilkesboro’s most important services to citizens, that also creates economic opportunity. Reliablewater service gives businesses like JELD-WEN confidence to expand, which in turn provides jobopportunities for our residents, increases our tax base, and sends the message that NorthWilkesboro is a good place to do business,” said Mayor Robert Johnson. “I want to thank ourarea legislators, Senator Deanna Ballard and Representative Jeffrey Elmore, the N.C. Department ofEnvironmental Quality, the N.C. Department of Commerce, and the Golden LEAF Foundation fortheir help in making this project happen.
“The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to be a partner with the Town of North Wilkesboro toprovide infrastructure critical to supporting economic growth,” said ScottT. Hamilton, GoldenLEAF president, chief executive officer. “This project will help create quality jobs andemployment opportunities for years to come.”
As a result of increased water capacity, Charlotte-based JELD-WEN was able to complete an $8 million expansion of its North Wilkesboro manufacturing plant, adding 29 jobs. The company’s commitment to invest in the expansion and additional jobs assisted in securing grants to offset some of the cost for the water tank.
“I want to express my appreciation for the hard work of the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation to get this project funded,” said Gary S. Michelpresident, and chief executive officer of JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. (NYSE: JELD). “The new water tower will allow us to operate our facility safely, and it positions us to continue our growth in Wilkes County.”
Earlier in the day, Michel, presented an award for global top performing plant to Jeff Mang, plant manager of the company’s North Wilkesboro manufacturing facility.
“When I first joined the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation in fall of 2018, JELD-WEN’s local operation employed approximately 80 people. Now it has over 200 employees, far exceeding the commitment of 29 jobs, in North Wilkesboro,” said LeeAnn Nixon, president of the Wilkes EDC. “While this project supported JELD-WEN’s local expansion, it will also create the infrastructure necessary for us to recruit new businesses to North Wilkesboro for additional economic growth. I sincerely thank all of the contributing partners involved in making this effort successful.”
Contributing partners are: