A beauty products company is planning a $12 million expansion at its Sanford manufacturing operations and expects to add 140 jobs by early next year.
Coty Inc. makes lotions and fragrances at its Sanford facility, which opened in 1971 and employs about 800 people. The expansion will add production lines to make nail polishes. Production is scheduled to begin in March.
City and Lee County officials provided incentives worth about $280,000 to attract the jobs, which will pay an average of about $38,000 a year, said Bob Heuts, economic development director for Lee County.
"We did provide some incentives to make sure that project ended up here and not somewhere else," Heuts said. "Obviously, a manufacturer like that has many options around the world."
The N.C. Commerce Department was involved in the discussions with Coty, but didn't provide additional financial incentives, he added.
New York-based Coty employs about 8,500 people worldwide and has annual sales of nearly $4 billion. The company also has manufacturing facilities in Britain, France and Spain.
Coty's Sanford facility has made brands such as Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Jennifer Lopez, adidas, Esprit and others. The halls of the Sanford facility are lined with photos of celebrities who lend their names to Coty products, including Halle Berry, Faith Hill, Beyoncé Knowles, Celine Dion and Tim McGraw.
The facility often adds hundreds of temporary workers to handle seasonal spikes in demand, especially before Christmas, Heuts said.
The Coty expansion is the latest positive news for the Sanford area, after a string of setbacks. Lee County is heavily dependent on manufacturing jobs and suffered during the recession. The county had an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent in October, well above the state and national rates of 9.6 percent.
In May, Pfizer announced it would lay off 400 people at its Sanford vaccine facility over the next five years.
But in August, Caterpillar announced plans to expand its Sanford factory and add 325 jobs over the next four years. Static Control Components, which produces parts and toner for remanufactured cartridges used in laser printers, is also adding jobs and now employs more than 1,000 in Sanford.
Parkdale Mills recently reopened a yarn factory, and another yarn manufacturer, Frontier Spinning Mills, announced plans in May to expand its Sanford factory and add 45 jobs over five years.
"There's no question in my mind that we're seeing good signs," Heuts said. "It's not as stable as we'd like and clearly the unemployment rate is still high.
Companies are slowly but surely getting back into production or increasing production."