Schmalz Inc., headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced the expansion of the Oak Forest Drive location on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Schmalz Inc. is the global leader in vacuum automation products, robotic end-of-arm vacuum gripper tools, material-handling vacuum lifters, and CNC vacuum clamping tools. The manufacturer has been growing rapidly since it was founded in Raleigh 19 years ago.
The existing building of the U.S. headquarters was completed in July 2016; due to continued, rapid growth over the past three years, the first significant expansion is already being planned. The new construction will triple the size of the existing facility. The company is scheduled to break ground in September 2020 with a move-in date of June 2021. The local investment will cover approximately $10.5 million over a five-year period starting in 2020 on top of the initial investments of more than $9 million. The investments will lead up to 62 new jobs over that time period with wages above the Wake County average.
“Raleigh’s economy is driven by innovation and collaboration,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. “Companies, and organizations like Schmalz Inc. that are growing here, and developing new and exciting products, play an important role in the quality of life we all enjoy. I’m glad to see Schmalz Inc. growing and wish them continued success.”
The Schmalz Inc. expansion is a unique project announcement, being the first project in Wake County that qualifies for the Targeted Growth Area Incentive Grant Program of the Wake County Business Development Grant. This policy change was adopted by the Wake County Board of Commissioners in 2018, and driven by the county’s effort to create and support equitable economic development. The County leadership has made it a priority to unlock the full potential of the local economy by removing barriers and expanding opportunities for targeted growth areas where unemployment is higher and development happens less frequently. The City of Raleigh also places an emphasis on equitable economic development, and the expansion falls within a priority area for economic development.
“We’re proud that Schmalz Inc. is the first recipient of our new Targeted Growth Incentive Grant Program,” said Jessica Holmes, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We applaud the company for expanding its operations in a part of the county that’s faced challenges economically, and through our new program, both the community and the company will see tangible benefits.”
“We’re always excited to celebrate new jobs and investment in our region, and the Schmalz Inc. expansion has the added benefit of qualifying for the county’s Targeted Growth Incentive Grant Program,” said Michael Haley, executive director of Wake County Economic Development. “This particular expansion fits with Wake County’s goal to foster inclusive and equitable economic development thereby strengthening our existing industries and workforce.”
A number of partners participated in this process including: Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Wake County, City of Raleigh, Wake County Economic Development, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, and Wake Technical Community College.