Owens-Illinois Inc., intent on expanding its involvement in the medical products industry, said Oct. 9 that it will construct an injection molding facility in Rocky Mount, N.C.
The plant will mold containers, primarily for the Rocky Mount facility of North Chicago, Ill.-based Abbott Laboratories. Operations are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 1998, and initially will employ 20, according to an Owens-Illinois news release.
John Hoff, a spokesman for the Toledo, Ohio, firm, declined in a telephone interview to provide further details about the project.
Peggy Goode, director of the Nash County Economic Development Commission in Rocky Mount, said Owens-Illinois bought a precast concrete building shell from the county, paying $1.48 million — the county's cost to build the facility. She said the 100,000-square-foot building is on 10 acres in an industrial park.
The community and state pursue a ``very aggressive marketing program'' to attract companies to the area, Goode added. She said Owens-Illinois told local officials it expects to invest $10 million and employ 70 within three years. The officials, in turn, provided the company with $30,000 in cash to use at ``its discretion,'' she said.
In addition, the company qualifies for state income-tax credits, and North Carolina's community college system is funding a job training program for the plant's workers at a nearby campus.
Owens-Illinois, which in recent years has restructured and closed a number of glass and plastic bottle plants, also is involved in a joint venture producing anesthesia and respiratory products with BriGram Inc. of Morganton, N.C.
Owens-Illinois ranked eighth in Plastics News' 1997 survey of North American injection molders, with estimated related sales of $335 million. It employs 1,200.