STANLEY, N.C.– Blum Inc. is planning $16 million in upgrades and new hiring at its North American headquarters in Lincoln County, North Carolina, to help meet growing demand for its cabinet hardware products.

With 390 employees, Blum is Lincoln County’s second-largest employer and plans to hire 15 to 20 workers over the next two years. The operation is near Charlotte.

The new investment follows a $4.4 million solar panel installation at the plant, which began generating electricity last year. The power generated helps fuel Blum’s operations and also provides enough electricity to the grid to power 300 homes. The project includes 6,600 solar panels located on the facility’s roof and reflects Blum’s commitment to sustainability, also demonstrated through industry-leading recycling and conservation programs.

“Blum has thrived in Lincoln County and the Charlotte region for almost 40 years, and we are delighted the economy is expanding again and making it necessary for companies like ours to increase capacity,” said Blum Inc. president and CEO Karl Rudisser. “Anytime we invest back into our plant and operations, the benefits not only stimulate success for Blum but also reach into the community in the form of good jobs and more spending in the local economy.”

Increased demand has resulted in a 13 percent increase in revenue over the last two years at Blum. Blum Inc. is the North American subsidiary of Julius Blum GmbH, a producer of functional hardware for cabinets and furniture based in Hoechst, Austria. The family-owned business employs nearly 7,000 people worldwide with annual sales of $1.8 billion.

The company’s $16 million investment in Lincoln County includes $7 million for equipment upgrades that will improve the speed and efficiency of Blum’s fully automated warehouse, which ships high-end cabinet hardware across the country. Another $6 million will go toward new machinery, equipment and tools used in manufacturing hinges, drawer runners and lift systems. The remaining $3 million will pay for building upgrades. See blum.com. http://blum.com

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