National Spinning, Spinrite reach deal

Published 8:01 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013

National Spinning and Spinrite have reached an agreement concerning the expansion Spinrite’s facilities within the National Spinning Building.
Sprinrite will pick up more space in the National Spinning building. That space will be used as warehouse space. As a result of that move, improvements are in store for other areas of the National Spinning building.
“I’m sure you know, or if you don’t know, last week we signed an extension of our original lease from National Spinning. In addition, we committed to an expansion project that will see us take an additional 120,000 square feet at the National Spinning facility,” said John Verwey, vice president of manufacturing for Spinrite, a Canadian company, during the Beaufort County Committee of 100 meeting Wednesday. “We have grown the Caron business, and we intend to continue to grow the Caron business and create more jobs as we go forward. That is our commitment.”
Verwey said the quality of the work force in the area is a factor in Spinrite’s plan to expand its operations in Washington.
“We feel that we have found here a dedicated work force, a hard-working work force, a very loyal work force,” he said.
Verwey provided details about the agreement.
“So, were are going to be expanding our warehouse in Washington. The reason for it is at our facility in … Canada, warehousing is at capacity. We were looking at either expansion of the warehousing in Canada or … rent additional space at National Spinning for warehousing. We saw it as a good opportunity given the quality of the work force here and how pleased we are with the transaction to this point at the Caron facility. We thought of it as a natural move and it made a lot of sense for us from the expansion side,” Verwey said in an interview after the meeting.
Making the space available for Spinrite’s expansion meant moving National Spinning’s Hampton Art division into a new location within the National Spinning building, said Jim Chesnutt, CEO and president of National Spinning.
“So, we are going to take the opportunity while we are making this move to upgrade our warehousing and distribution in Washington and the Hampton Art operation because it’s our plans to grow that business even more here locally,” Chesnutt said. “At the same time, we are going to commit spending about three-quarters of a million dollars on our facility over on that side of town, not only to accommodate Spinrite but to make it a better facility with which, we think, is going to help Bob Heuts, hopefully, to attract some more people into this town to create some more jobs.”
Heuts is Beaufort County’s economic developer.
Chesnutt said Heuts does not have any “inventory” when it comes to buildings or similar space for expansion of existing industry or to entice new industry to the county.
“So, hopefully, some of the inventory in our building will be one of the conduits we can use to create some more jobs because that’s what it’s all about,” Chesnutt said.
In an interview after the meeting, Chesnutt said the $750,000 National Spinning plans to spend on upgrading its building includes roofing, dock doors, firewalls and equipment such as new conveyors and storage facilities.
“It’s kind of hard for us to believe we’ve been in Washington right now for a little over nine months. It seems like only yesterday we were meeting with Jim Chesnutt and his team for the first time to discuss the potential transaction of us purchasing Caron,” Verwey said during the meeting of the Beaufort County Committee of 100 on Wednesday.
Verwey said that from day one, Spinrite’s plan was to relocate the Caron International operations to Canada. “However, Jim and his team did a terrific job of letting us know about and showing us the advantages of moving the operation to Washington and really staying in the current facilities. More importantly though, we also saw the commitment from the state and the commitment from this group of local governments. We knew we were dealing with people of action. We knew we were doing business with people who would step up and commit and give us every reason to want to move here. We believe we made the right decision. We know we made the right decision.”
At the meeting, Chesnutt announced Mike Behar’s promotion to general manager of Hampton Art. Most recently, Behar was director of sales for Hampton Art, a wholly owned craft subsidiary of National Spinning.
Behar succeeds Ed Bolen, who served Hampton Art and Caron for 39 years before announcing his retirement later this year.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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