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Blum Inc. Announces Million Expansion At Its Headquarters in Lincoln County

Blum Inc. has announced plans for an expansion at its North American headquarters in Lincoln County, N.C. The project, to total more than $30 million in new investment, will include a warehouse addition, injection molding expansion, two new automated hinge-assembly lines, and a new line for drawer-system assembly. When operational by December 2005, the expansion will create at least 40 additional jobs with hourly wages above $10 per hour.

“With strong growth continuing in the building industries, we’re proactively planning to meet the demand by expanding our facilities,” said Karl Ruedisser, general manager, CEO of Blum Inc. “The kitchen industry is experiencing a strong year, with more than 6.5 million kitchen jobs projected in 2004, and we expect this pattern of growth to continue in the coming years.”

“Because we have always based our facilities expansions on what the company needs not only to be competitive, but also to stay ahead of the competition, the growth of our complex reflects the history and success of the company,” Ruedisser continued. “This is our ninth major expansion, with the last occurring in 2000, when a $20 million project added our administration building and the high-rise warehouse.”

Lincoln County Commissioners helped solidify Blum’s decision to expand its facility and operations by awarding the company approximately $606,000 in incentives. Blum will receive the grant in equal installments to be paid over a five-year period. Also, Blum is in discussions with Duke Power Company and Gaston College for additional incentives.

“Blum started in Lincoln County in 1979 with only 10 people and has increased its business ever since,” said Jerry Cochrane, who chairs the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. “Blum has been a very good corporate citizen for Lincoln County and has become one of our largest employers.”

Ruedisser said Blum will increase the size of its automated high-rise warehouse and logistics area by 50 percent. That addition will free space in the current manufacturing buildings for the three new assembly lines.

Providing the bulk of the 40 new jobs will be automated assembly line for TANDEM with BLUMOTION, which are used primarily in kitchen cabinets. TANDEM is Blum’s premium under-mount concealed drawer-runner system, and BLUMOTION is an integrated soft-closing mechanism. The new assembly line is expected to be operational by November 2005.

Blum Inc. is the North American subsidiary of Julius Blum GmbH, a world leader in the production of functional hardware for cabinets and furniture. Based in Hoechst, Austria, the family-owner business employs more than 4,100 people worldwide with annual sales of $830 million. The more than 400 employees at Blum Inc. make it Lincoln County’s fifth-largest employer.