New jobs coming to Hoke County

May 14, 2010 9:40:46 PM PDT
An international company is shifting some of its production operation to its plant in Hoke County.On Friday with the snip of giant a pair of scissors, Hoke County officially became home to about 50 new jobs.

Alpla Inc. is a family owned business based in Austria. Its U.S. corporate offices are in Atlanta.

"We are at the moment between 10,000 and 11,000 people," Alpla General Manager Jodok Schaeffler said. "Globally, we have 128 facilities. We are a global company and actually the reason for being here is we have a very strong partnership with the customer here which is Unilever."

Alpla makes plastic bottles for shampoos and other products made in Raeford by Unilever. The plant manager says there are a lot of advantages to having its supplier right next door.

"Basically we give them a demand signal that morning and they shuttle over what we need for that next day. So it's a huge benefit and win for both of us," Unilever plant manager Georgia Szewczak said.

The bottles used to be made in Atlanta and were put on trucks and shipped to Hoke County. Now because they're being made in Hoke County they're saving the company a whole lot of money.

"Here we did a case study on this location and the savings was one to two million dollars a year," Schaeffler said.

In addition to saving money and reducing the company's carbon footprint, Alpla was impressed with the local workforce.

"Having people around here and having a community that's interested to invest and actually utilize work as we can offer it was a big thing," Schaeffler said. "And we found a very, very good workforce here."

If things go well, the company may increase the size of its operation and bring more jobs to the area.

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