With the awarding Thursday of a $250,000 grant from the N.C. Dept. of Commerce’s Rural Division Building Reuse Program, Bulldog Factory Service is expanding into the Southeast and creating more than 40 new jobs and more than $3 million in capital investment in Polk County.
Bulldog Factory Service is a full-service automation supplier offering complete design, simulation, build, debug and installation services. Founded in 2000 and based in Michigan, the company serves such customers as BMW Manufacturing Co., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
The state grant supports Bulldog Factory Service’s purchase and renovation of a 50,000-square-foot building on eight acres off Highway 108 in Columbus. The building at 135 Ada Moore St. is owned by The Timken Co. and has been vacant for more than two years.
The state grant requires Polk County to contribute five percent – or $12,500 – of the $250,000. Because Duke Energy has agreed to contribute 40 percent of that $12,500, Polk County’s contribution amounts to $7,500.
“This opportunity is a great example of the State of North Carolina and Polk County partnering together to locate businesses to our area that fit in our rural character and heritage,” Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said.
Over the next five years, Bulldog Factory Service plans to create 43 jobs with an average wage of $54,000 a year. Thirty of those jobs will be created in the first two years.
Bulldog Factory Service plans to hire robot programmers, tool builders, project managers, electricians, mechanical designers, general laborers, administrative and shipping receiving support, pipefitters, welders and machinists. The company plans to partner with Isothermal Community College for its Work Force Development Program to provide training to recruit new employees and attract local talent who may be leaving Polk County to go elsewhere for employment.
“We’re very excited about the creation of a significant number of jobs in Polk County and that the average wage of those jobs is 55 percent higher than the average job currently in the County,” Polk County Business Development Director Brian Griffin said.
Bulldog Factory Service also plans to make $3,050,000 in new capital investments in real property and tangible personal property over the next five years.
The Polk County Office of Economic Development is located at 20 East Mills St. in Columbus. Learn more by visiting PolkNC.org/Economic_Development or calling (828) 894-2895.