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STATEWIDE Eastern Region

Boat builder docks in Onslowclientuploads/Archive_Images/2014/02/east-region-boat.jpg

Armstrong Marine will invest more than $8.4 million and create 200 jobs in an aluminum-boat factory near Swansboro. The company makes purpose-built boats for law-enforcement agencies and the military as well as ferries, tour boats, dive boats and research vessels. Owner and President Josh Armstrong and brother Cory, who manages production, started the company more than two decades ago in British Columbia, Canada, where they grew up, and later moved it to Port Angeles, Wash. The plant there couldn’t meet demand, and a second one in Onslow County will help reduce shipping costs to East Coast customers. Armstrong also plans to export boats made here to a growing list of clients in foreign markets. Armstrong will set up shop in the old Hatteras Yacht plant, which Nashville, Tenn.-based Brunswick Boat Group closed in 2008. Average annual wage for the jobs will be $31,420, nearly 17% higher than Onslow’s average of $26,908.

 
 
Briefs
 
WILMINGTON — USA InvestCo will invest more than $15 million 
in a 75,000-square-foot cold-storage center for locally produced pork, poultry, fruits and vegetables. The public-private venture, which will create 100 jobs, received an $800,000 Golden LEAF Foundation grant toward the development and construction of Port of Wilmington Cold Storage, which could be expanded to 300,000 square feet if demand grows.

ROANOKE RAPIDS — Halifax Regional Medical Center
will merge with Winston-Salem-based Novant Health following a one-year management agreement that begins in March. Novant pledged to spend $35 million over the next five years on capital investments for the 204-bed hospital, which employs 800.

ROCKY MOUNT — Nutkao USA
will invest $7.3 million within three years in a nut-butter plant here, creating 56 jobs with average annual pay of $35,790, on par with Nash County’s average of $35,450. The Italian company makes cocoa and hazelnut spreads and fillings for the confectionary industry.

WILMINGTON — Eastern Shore Acquisition Corp.
, which operated as First Med, closed abruptly Dec. 6. Sixty-five people lost their jobs. The private medical-transportation company blamed a lender’s decision to cut funding.

ROCKY MOUNT —
Chapel Hill-based UNC Healthcare will provide management and operational services to Nash Health Care System, which operates five hospitals with a total of 403 beds, beginning April 1. The arrangement, which does not involve any exchange of assets, was made to improve patient care and lower operating costs.