Fountain Powerboats sets plan for growth

WASHINGTON, N.C. – Backed by a grant from the state of North Carolina, Reggie Fountain announced a five-year plan for the growth of Fountain Powerboats on Monday, according to an article in the Washington Daily News.

Four months to the day after it was announced that his company purchased the assets of Baja Marine from Brunswick, Fountain, the company’s founder and CEO, told the Daily News that Baja is coming to his factory to become a part of the manufacturing team.

“We are going to gain a company during these tough economic times that will come in here and give us a second company to help things continue to roll at Fountain,” he told the paper. “When the economy turns around, we are really going to gain steam and begin to really roll with Fountain and Baja boats.

“We look forward to all of this for the betterment of our area and for the increased prosperity for our people. When people hear our boats on the river, they will be listening to money in the bank for so many local folks. Today is an awesome day.”

Fountain Powerboats was granted a Job Development Investment Grant by the state of North Carolina on Monday, according to the paper. The grant is designed, the article reported, to help Fountain Powerboats and Baja Marine create 250 jobs and infuse $12 million in investment into the organization during the next five years.

“We know times are tight,” Fountain told the paper. “By Baja coming here, it is giving us a good insurance policy for the jobs we have now. It gives us two companies to take care of the overhead.”

Fountain Powerboats employs 333 people, and Fountain told the paper he is proud to say that the average wage earned by an employee at his factory is about $34,000 per year.

“Reggie Fountain is paying good wages for people in Beaufort County,” Chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners Jay McRoy told the paper. “As long as we see action like this in our county, people are going to have opportunity from organizations like Fountain and Baja.”

Tom Thompson, executive director of the Beaufort County Economic Development Commission, told the paper that the state grant will bring more wealth to the county.

“Despite some negative information in the news about Fountain’s stock position, Fountain Powerboats is doing very well,” Thompson said. “Baja came to Fountain because it knew Fountain can raise it from the ashes. Reggie will make Baja a better boat.”

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