Inside a nondescript miniature warehouse off Carolina Boulevard, Drew Singleton hovers about an imposing, intimidating metalworking machine; adjusting a knob here, spinning a wheel there, tweaking an armature and then stopping to assess the situation, he pauses and looks up to re-check his settings.

Consolidated Metco, a designer and manufacturer of commercial vehicle truck components, has announced that it will close its Bryson City plant permanently by Feb. 1, 2018.

fr gilesWaynesville leaders have granted a free pass on many of its aesthetic development standards to pave the way for a large warehouse facility being built by Giles Chemical, the Waynesville-based company that is the largest North American manufacturer of Epsom salts.

op frWith the right leadership, it can happen. If the national and regional economy continues chugging along for another few years without a stumble, it can happen.

I’m talking about a rejuvenation of the small east Haywood County town of Canton, where elected leaders are saying they want business growth and new residents. That’s the town dominated by the giant paper mill that sits unabashedly in the town center, the mill that still occasionally emits a smell that envelops the town, the mill that still discolors the Pigeon River.

Webster Enterprises is settling into its newly leased building on Harold Street in Sylva following the town board’s unanimous vote to approve a conditional-use permit for the nonprofit. 

“We were delighted about it,” said Gene Robinson, executive director of Webster Enterprises.

Macon County was hit with some tough news last week when Caterpillar Inc. announced that it would be shutting down its Franklin plant next year, leaving 150 people without work.

Franklin Mayor Bob Scott said he was shocked by the news that seemed to come out of the blue.

The former Drexel manufacturing plant site in Whittier is a step closer to its future. Jackson County was recently awarded a $10,000 grant, which will be put toward the preparation of a master plan for the site. 

fr conmetA manufacturing plant that makes parts for big-rig cab interiors has broken ground on a $5.9 million expansion in Canton with plans to add 140 jobs at the factory by 2015. 

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Approximately 80 workers will be laid off from Cashier’s Consolidated Metco plastics plant beginning in January in the largest downsizing in Jackson County since the Ashley Company furniture plant closed in 2002.

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