By Cory Davis
Staff Writer, Rocky Mount Telegram
An agriculture equipment distributor is expanding operations in Nash County by investing more than $11 million and adding more than 30 jobs at its facility in the Battleboro community.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that LS Tractor USA at 6900 Corporation Parkway in Battleboro will invest $11.5 million to add employees and upgrade offices and facilities. With the expansion, LS Tractor USA will create 31 jobs over the next five years.
LS Tractor USA sells and distributes tractors and agricultural equipment produced by LS Mtron, a corporation based in South Korea and parent company of LS Tractor USA. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but will average $44,252. The average wage in Nash County is $38,105.
“Nash County is a wonderful place to live, work and do business,” Cooper said. “I’m pleased that LS Tractor USA has decided to keep growing right here. North Carolina’s exceptional workforce, business climate and commitment to education encourage companies to expand in our state time and again.”
While LS Tractor’s corporate headquarters and primary facility is in the Battleboro community, the company also has contract facilities in Louisiana, California, and Illinois. The company sells equipment through a dealer network at locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Joey Sim, director of sales and marketing at LS Tractor USA, said since 2009, the company has experienced very successful growth based on collaboration with the state government and Nash County.
“LS Mtron has very strong confidence in our continuous growth and our relationship with the local community, which makes them willing to increase business and investment for the future here,” Sim said.
A performance-based grant of $60,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate LS Tractor’s expansion plans. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs.
Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC Fund grants require a matching grant from local governments, and any award is contingent upon the grant conditions being met.
Several agencies helped make the project possible, including Nash County and the Carolinas Gateway Partnership. On Monday, the Nash County Board of Commissioners agreed to match 5 percent of the Building Reuse Grant Program with the Carolinas Gateway Partnership.
Norris Tolson, CEO and president of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership, said he was delighted to know LS Tractor USA decided to increase its operations in the Twin Counties.
“They could have expanded anywhere, and we’re happy they’re doing it here in our area,” Tolson said. “They’re really great partners to work with, and smaller industries like them are the foundation of strong industrial growth.”