ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (December 18, 2019) – Alexander County is one of 12 recipients of grants recently announced by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA). The grants were announced on December 13 and total $4,113,122 with 473 new jobs committed. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $111 million in private investment.
Alexander County was awarded $90,000 in the Building Reuse Program’s Existing Business Building Category to support an expansion project being undertaken by Paragon Films, a stretch-film manufacturer located in the Alexander Industrial Park. The grant will assist with the construction of an additional 50,000 square feet to the existing facility. Paragon expects to create 11 new full-time jobs and invest approximately $15 million in the project for construction and equipment.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to assist local industries with renovations and expansions through the state’s Building Reuse Program,” said Alexander County Commission Chairman Jeff Peal. “Paragon Films has proven to be a very solid company since they began operations in Alexander County, and we are proud to have them in our county. We look forward to Paragon’s continued success and are appreciative of the state’s assistance with this grant program.”
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, “A focus on rural areas makes sure all North Carolinians have a healthier, better life, and a key to that is building and strengthening infrastructure. Rural Infrastructure Authority grants help pay for challenges rural areas must address to grow jobs and improve quality of life.”
Paragon Films began operations in Alexander County in 2005 when the company purchased a 40,000 square foot shell building in the Alexander Industrial Park. Paragon expanded the building to 100,000 square feet in 2009 and is now planning another 50,000 square foot addition. In March 2018, Paragon announced plans to invest approximately $10 million in equipment for a new production line and the creation of 14 full-time jobs.
Brandon Kale, Plant Manager for Paragon’s Alexander County facility, said he is appreciative of the grant and is excited to embark on this expansion project.
“It’s exciting to see this continued growth for Paragon and the opportunities it brings to our employees, their families, and our community,” Kale stated. “We are proud of what this team has accomplished both professionally and civically, and appreciate the opportunity to expand on those accomplishments through growth here in Alexander County.”
The Alexander County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) provided technical assistance and completed the grant application on behalf of the county. EDC Executive Director David Icenhour said, “It’s exciting to see Paragon Films continue to grow and flourish. Paragon is an excellent corporate partner, providing valuable jobs and investment in Alexander County.”
With plants strategically located in Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Washington, Paragon Films serves all 50 states, as well as Canada, Mexico, South America and a number of international locations across a wide array of industries. Visit www.paragonfilms.com for more information.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s team of rural economic development professionals supports the Rural Infrastructure Authority’s work. RIA members review and approve funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements. For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit www.nccommerce.com/rd.