FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Cobia Boat Company President Scott Deal announced that Cobia will be moving the manufacture of the Cobia brand of boats to a new production facility in Marion, N.C., according to a release issued by the company.
Relocation of the Cobia line to the 39-acre facility located in McDowell County is part of an overall plan to grow the Cobia brand, and to meet the increased demand for these popular saltwater fishing boats. And according to the WFMY News 2 Web site the move will create 292 new jobs with an investment of $6.2 million over the next five years.
“Moving Cobia to Marion, North Carolina, is a part of our strategic plan to grow the business by expanding production and distribution to meet the expanding retail demands,” said Scott Deal, President of both Cobia Boat Company, LLC and Maverick Boat Company, Inc. “Marion has a robust, experienced work force, the area has a high quality of life and is centrally located within our market. We are getting calls daily from dealers who want to carry the Cobia line, and this new facility along with the great people of McDowell County will allow us to meet the demands of our existing dealers as well as finally having the opportunity to expand.”
According to WFMY News 2, the new facility will be located in the McDowell County Industrial Park in Marion. Cobia plans to start construction on the 106,500-square-foot building in September, with operations expected to begin in February 2006. The new jobs will be mainly manufacturing positions that will pay an average wage of $31,000 a year plus benefits, which is significantly higher than the average county wage of $24,800, according to Web site.
McDowell County is located in the foothills of western North Carolina, an area where the workforce has traditionally been employed in industries hard hit by the recent wave of offshoring of American manufacturing jobs. Cobia has agreed to put hundreds of them back to work.
“The skills Cobia needs to produce boats are very similar to those found in the furniture industries,” said Chuck Abernathy, County Manager for McDowell County. “There is a skill set here that will be quite a benefit. We’re looking forward to having a quality company like Cobia Boats as a part of the community.”
Cobia will manufacture a full line of saltwater fishing boats from 17′ to 31′ at this new facility. Maverick Boat Company, Inc., will remain headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida, and will continue to manufacture Maverick and Hewes flats and backcountry boats, and Pathfinder bay and offshore boats in that facility.
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