03/08/13 There’s good news for employees of Whitley Products in North Carolina….A company based in the United Kingdom, Tricorn Group PLC, a holding company for a group of companies that develop and manufacture pipe solutions for international sale, has acquired the Franklin, NC facility. The company will open Franklin Tubular Products Inc. according to the Macon County Economic Development Commission.
Whitley Products, which employs 97 people in North Carolina and just over 100 in Plymouth, has been struggling financially. In late January, the company shut its doors. A few days later, the plant reopened, saying it had gotten funding to continue operating while courting a potential buyer. On February 19th Whitley Products officially filed notice as part of the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act that the company based in Warsaw, with plants in Plymouth and North Carolina will officially cease operations in mid April to early May.
The project keeping Whitley Products operational in the North Carolina facility was made possible in part by performance based grants from Macon County ($61,500), the Town of Franklin ($61,500) and the One North Carolina Fund ($56,000). These grants are contingent upon a combination of verified job creation and investment performance benchmarks.
The new company plans to create 121 jobs and invest $4 million over the next three years in local operations.
While Whitley Products in North Carolina was purchased, the Plymouth facility was not part of the deal and so the employees here are preparing for the worst…losing their jobs in the near future.