Partnerships lead to Whitley expansion

PLYMOUTH — One local manufacturer was in a hurry to expand its business — literally.
Whitley Products in Plymouth took just a few days to get up and running in its new expanded warehouse facility on Flora Street in Plymouth. It was possible with the help of some other local businesses, according to Rick Green of Whitley.
“We got the building ready in 10 days,” he told those assembled for the celebration of the facility’s opening. “We had to run vents and other work to the back of the building; we hired a local contractor to help us with that. We have a lot of great electrical power here in this building but we had to do extensive rewiring and we hired a local electrical contractor for that and we were able to do it all in 10 days.”
The expansion and new facility was made possible by a new contract the company landed with Case New Holland for around $5 million. The expansion also means 15 new hires and possibly five to 10 more before the end of the year. The company makes transmission lines for all sorts of heavy equipment. Whitley has another plant in Franklin, North Carolina. They currently make parts for companies such as CAT and Navistar.
The expansion is also a product of another partnership.
“We are very fortunate that PIDCO (Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation) has worked with us on the lease agreement for the building,” said Green. “It allowed us to move quickly and it meets our needs and will adjust to our requirements in the future.”
PIDCO owns the building leased to Whitney and had previously leased the structure to Pregis. The Marshall County Economic Develop-ment Corporation also had a hand in working out the arrangement. It was very advantageous to the entire area.
“If this arrangement hadn’t been available we likely would have tried to do something in North Carol-ina,” said Green. “There were a lot of incentives that led to choosing Plymouth; the available work force, and the city and state incentives that were available to us. It opened the eyes of our ownership group.”
Another incentive was the talent available in Ply-mouth. Green said that in addition to the 15 employees hired to work the new warehouse and finishing building, the company has already hired three new engineers to help meet the increased work.
“We feel that the future of Marshall County is in these kinds of partnerships like this one with Whitley and the MCEDC,” said Mark Gidley, president of PIDCO. “Our successes in the future will come out of these kind of relationships.”