Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the world’s largest recycler of electronic waste, announced yesterday that it will open a regional recycling hub in Badin, North Carolina. The facility will be ERI’s first Southeast location and is expected to bring up to 200 green-collar jobs to the community.
“We are excited about expanding our business to North Carolina,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “The enormous influx of new technologies, rendering older devices obsolete, as well as the demand for the safe and secure disposal of data, has created incredible growth in the electronic waste industry, and we look forward to establishing a significant, long-term operation in Badin.”
Shegerian made the announcement yesterday before a crowd of 100 community leaders and local officials, including U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell, State Sen. Bill Purcell, State Rep. Justin Burr, Stanly County Commissioner Josh Morton, Badin Mayor James Harrison and Albemarle Mayor Whit Whitley. He thanked the community for the warm welcome that ERI has received in North Carolina.
Mayor Harrison said ERI’s move to Badin was welcome news for the town.
“This announcement is what we have been praying for ever since the shuttering of the Alcoa Inc. smelting operation,” Mayor Harrison said. “I hope that ERI’s selection of Badin is a sign of the good things starting to take place for the Badin community and Stanly County.”
ERI works with retailers, manufacturers, Fortune 500 companies, government entities, educational institutions and charitable organizations to recycle electronic waste, including laptop computers, cell phones, televisions, printers and other electronics. Some of its notable customers include Best Buy, Samsung, the Salvation Army and the U.S. Government.
“Stanly County is proud to become the Southeastern home of Electronic Recyclers International,” said Rep. Burr, who represents Stanly County in the NC House. “I look forward to participating as this community and our new corporate citizen work together, in partnership, to make Badin a center for economic growth and newly created jobs — not just in our state, but in this part of our nation.”
Sen. Bill Purcell added, “These new jobs at Electronic Recyclers International will bring paychecks to families in our region, and nothing is more important. This investment in our community and our new Badin Business Park means a new start toward rebuilding our economy.”
The Badin Business Park
ERI will be the inaugural tenant in the Badin Business Park, located at the site of a former Alcoa aluminum smelting plant. Alcoa, which has been actively recruiting businesses to the Badin site, first contacted ERI in December 2010 during the company’s search for a Southeast recycling center. It considered locations in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina before selecting the Badin site earlier this month.
“I’m glad to see jobs coming back to Badin. Each job created at this facility will help to provide certainty for an area family. ERI’s interest in expanding here is a testament to our hard working people. I certainly welcome this announcement,” said Congressman Kissell who represents the region in the US House of Representatives.
ERI will begin operations in a temporary facility in the business park in July 2011 before moving into a permanent, 165,000-square-foot facility in January 2012. ERI is investing $5 million in the facility, and Alcoa is spending an additional $5 million on building improvements. Alcoa continues to work with state and local officials to attract additional employers to the Badin Business Park, which will have 535,000 square feet of prime industrial space and 50 acres available for development after ERI moves into its new facility.
Hiring to Begin Immediately
ERI plans to immediately begin hiring a local workforce to assist with its startup operations. The company has already named a plant manager for the site, and will hire approximately 20-30 employees this summer. It will grow its workforce to more than 150 employees by the end of 2012 and eventually plans to hire up to 200 employees as its recycling volume grows.
“Stanly County is excited to become the new home of ERI,” said Commissioner Morton. “This company will put people in our community to work, and ERI’s presence in Badin and Stanly County will spur new economic activity. This activity will be beneficial to our overall economic development efforts.”
ERI will work closely with Stanly Community College and the North Carolina Employment Commission to recruit employees. The company said it plans to hold a local job fair in the next 6-8 weeks.
“Electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, making the proper recycling of electronics one of the country’s fastest growing industries, and our regional recycling hubs will expand aggressively to meet that need,” Shegerian said. “We pride ourselves on giving employees the ability to grow with the company and believe there will be tremendous opportunities here in Badin.”