Triple Aught Design, a US-based adventure gear company, will create 70 new jobs in McDowell County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The manufacturer will invest $1 million to build and operate a cutting-edge apparel and gear production facility and experience center in Old Fort.

“Today, the second largest industry in our state, manufacturing, is continuing to grow with Triple Aught choosing North Carolina for their East Coast operations,” said Governor Cooper. “Companies like Triple Aught Design are drawn to our strong manufacturing workforce and premier quality of life to support their company’s growth.”

An employee-owned, American company, Triple Aught Design designs, engineers, produces and retails high-quality adventure apparel and equipment. Founded in 2010, the San Francisco-based manufacturer sells their products directly to consumers online, in their flagship retail store and with a select group of international retailers. In addition to manufacturing, Triple Aught also plans to open a new retail shop and community gathering space adjacent to the factory. The company will begin accepting applications on their website at TripleAughtDesign.com.

“We considered locations across the entire US, and are thrilled to have found a perfect location in Old Fort,” said Brett Eisenberg, CEO of Triple Aught Design. “Western North Carolina’s talented manufacturing base, proximity to our key textile partners, and inspiring wilderness areas make it an ideal location for our East Coast expansion.”

“Innovation drives companies of all sizes and industry segments to North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Triple Aught Design is the newest addition to our state’s impressive list of growing manufacturers, and we welcome the energy, values and vision that has led to their success.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led a team of partners in supporting Triple Aught Design’s decision establish its first manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The new positions include designers, sewing operators, retail staff, operations and administrative personnel. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position, but the average annual wage will exceed McDowell County’s overall average annual wage of $36,753 and create a payroll impact of more than $2.5 million per year.

A performance-based grant of $210,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Triple Aught Design’s expansion to North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to 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.

Earlier this week, Governor Cooper proclaimed this week North Carolina Manufacturing Week. With more than 475,000 manufacturing employees across the state, North Carolina has the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast and ninth largest in the nation. At $100.1 billion, manufacturing accounts for 17% of North Carolina’s economic output. Manufacturing Week also celebrated an additional 339 manufacturing jobs with announcements in Beaufort County on Tuesday and 300 jobs in Rockingham County on Wednesday. 

In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina Community College System, McDowell Technical Community College, McDowell County, McDowell Economic Development Association, Inc., and the Town of Old Fort.

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