Duotech to expand in Macon

Duotech to expand in Macon

Almost 100 high-paying jobs are expected in Macon County with the expansion of Duotech Services, LLC. 

“This is a win-win situation for the company and the citizens of Macon County and our local economy,” said Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins.

For several months, the county has been working with Duotech on a proposal for its expansion project in Macon County. The company is in the aerospace and defense industry, providing repair and sustainment services for radar and military equipment systems, as well as proprietary radar products. It was founded 42 years ago and has been in its current location at the industrial park for 26 years.

The company is currently operating with 35,000 square-feet and 60 employees and is looking to add approximately 50,000 square-feet and a projected 95 employees over five years. Those employees are expected to earn an average salary of $82,000.

“This is a unique opportunity for Macon County,” said Jenkins. “You don’t see many companies that are offering that kind of wage and that kind of direct incentive.”

“If you compare that with the state average [salary] which is $65,000, and the Macon County average [salary] which is $40,034 per year, you can see that that’s quite an increase over average wages, which is good for the county,” said Jenkins.

Related Items

This is estimated to pump $7.8 million per year into the county economy through payroll and provide a capital investment of at least $5.8 million over five years. According to county staff, this is the largest investment project the county has ever seen.  

“This is a competitive project with a couple of other locations that have also been in discussion,” said Jenkins. “We were competing against other areas.” 

During a March 25 county commission meeting, the board unanimously approved an incentive package for the Duotech expansion, and a purchase agreement with the company to purchase the existing business development center.

The business development center is located on 2.72 acres; Duotech is purchasing the property for the tax-appraised value of $797,729.

The incentive agreement is a five-year agreement in which the county will pay Duotech $100,000. That money is payable in four increments of $25,000 each time the company achieves one fourth of its job creation promise.

“Those incentive dollars, $100,000 at 95 jobs, come to about $1,053 per job,” said Jenkins. “There are appropriate claw backs in that agreement which our county attorney has worked to negotiate that would require performance commitments of full-time employees and a direct investment in plant property and equipment.”

In order to make room for the expansion project, Duotech will have to demolish the building on the property purchased from the county and construct its own structure. Part of the claw-backs include a provision that if the building is not demolished within eight months of closing, then the county has the right to buy it back for the same price it sold.

“What that ensures is that this isn’t a flip where they’re going to buy it and then turn around and sell it for $1.5 million or something,” said County Attorney Eric Ridenour.

The property that Duotech is buying from the county, worth almost $800,000, will reduce in value to about $200,000 when the building on the site is demolished.

“That shows that they’ve got the investment there where they’ve given up $600,000 worth of equity right there in order to construct what they plan to construct,” said Ridenour.

“I appreciate the detail on the claw-backs,” said Commissioner Josh Young.

In addition to approving the sale of the property and the investment plan, the county commission approved a $100,000 budget amendment to pay for the cash incentives over the next five years.

“That $100,000 [of incentives] is peanuts compared to what this investment is and the jobs,” said Commissioner John Shearl.

The transaction is scheduled to close within 90 days of the executed agreement with the county.

“This is a tremendous deal,” said County Manager Derek Roland. “Thank you, [Tommy] and thank you Eric, because both of y’all worked very hard to get this.”

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.