|Ventura Coach Corp and a related company, Absolute Bus, will create 61 new jobs with an expansion in Robeson County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The manufacturer of commercial shuttle buses plans to invest $2 million for an upgrade of its facilities in Lumberton.
“New jobs could not come at a better time for Robeson County, where families and businesses are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and its historic floods,” Governor Cooper said. “North Carolina is proud to attract growing companies like Ventura Coach, thanks to our winning combination of dedicated workers, robust transportation networks, and lower shipping costs.”
Ventura Coach Corp builds and customizes shuttle buses. Ventura Coach is one of the few bus manufacturers that builds onto a full truck cab, which provides more strength and durability to the overall bus. Ventura bus bodies also feature contoured sides for better aerodynamics in crosswinds.
“We welcome Ventura Coach’s decision to expand in North Carolina, which will bring new jobs to an area hard-hit by Hurricane Matthew,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. were instrumental in supporting the company’s investment decision.
“It’s been eighteen years since the second largest shuttle bus manufacturer in the nation left the southeast,” said Craig Hartman, CEO for Ventura Coach Corp. “Today as demand has risen to an all-time high; it is time to bring these jobs back to the south. As we grow, the industry will attract many new vendors to the area. This is just the beginning.”
A performance-based grant of $200,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Ventura Coach Corp’s expansion in Robeson County.
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
While compensation will vary by position, average salaries for the new jobs associated with the OneNC grant will be $30,100, in line with the current average annual wage in Robeson County of $30,280.
“New jobs coming to Robeson County is great news,” said N.C. Senator Danny Britt, Jr. “People in our region are ready to get to work and contribute to the future success of Ventura Coach. I am pleased to be a part of growing our local economy.”
“We welcome Ventura Coach Corp’s expansion,” said N.C. Representative Charles Graham. “This company is a valued employer in our area and we appreciate their support for our community.”
North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Partnership of North Carolina were joined by other key partners in the expansion project, including the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), Robeson County, and Robeson County Economic Development.