A prepared-foods factory in Catawba County will add 500 jobs over the next three years, providing another bright spot for the state's economy.
The Pierre Foods plant already employs more than 700 workers at the Claremont facility, about 170 miles west of Raleigh. The new jobs will pay average annual salaries of $26,467.
The Cincinnati-based company is seeing increasing demand for its pre-cooked meats and ready-to-eat sandwiches that found in vending machines, convenience stores and at other locations.
The state will give the company a $600,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, Gov. Bev Perdue's office announced this afternoon. That fund's money requires matching grants from local officials.
Los Angeles private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management took control of Pierre Foods in December 2008 after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.