Improving Business in the Wilmington Region
Wilmington Firm to Base Global Headquarters Here in $10 Million Expansion
March 1, 2013 – Wilmington, N.C. Castle Branch, Inc., already a major employer in Wilmington, will triple its 200-person corporate headquarters here under a nearly $10 million expansion plan being announced today by founder and CEO Brett Martin and top officials of the N.C. Department of Commerce. Joining them at the announcement are state legislators, county and municipal leaders, and officials of Wilmington Business Development (WBD).
Proximity to UNC Wilmington along with supportive government officials here were central factors in the company’s selection of Wilmington over other national locations it had considered. “The University and access to both its students and graduates, and the fact that the city and county and state stepped up, made our choice very clear,” said Mr. Martin, who founded Castle Branch in 1997. Support from WBD also was pivotal. “Navigating the city, county and state political landscape is a daunting task,” Mr. Martin said. “Without the coordinated efforts of WBD I doubt we would have been able to garner the support we have. At the end of the day without the work of WBD, specifically Scott (Satterfield) and Billy (King), the outcome would have been very different.”
Castle Branch, which was originally based in Chapel Hill, provides background screening, drug testing, employment verification, vendor credentialing and other services to its growing global client base. The company arrived in Wilmington in 2002 with 32 employees, setting up initial operations at the Cotton Exchange. Since 2009, it has based its headquarters at The Pines at Research Park across from Mayfaire Towne Center in the City of Wilmington. The company’s current expansion plans aim to create 400 new jobs here by the end of 2017.
The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are supporting Castle Branch’s expansion via a five-year performance-based incentive package. “I’ve personally watched this company grow during the last 10 years and seen the tremendous contributions they’ve made here,” said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. “We wanted to make sure they grow these 400 jobs in our community.” The North Carolina Community College System will provide customized worker training in support of Castle Branch’s expansion, and the company will receive financial assistance from North Carolina’s Job Development and Investment Grant (JDIG) program, which is administered by the Department of Commerce. “All three levels of government worked together to make sure these jobs remain in North Carolina,” Chairman White added.
North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker said the expansion highlights the importance of supporting the state’s existing corporate residents. “At Commerce, we are committed to growing the number of jobs in North Carolina,” Sec. Decker said, “and we know that a majority of those jobs will come from existing companies like Castle Branch. We applaud Brett Martin for the great work that he is doing and his commitment to invest in North Carolina once again as his company grows.”
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo welcomed the Castle Branch decision, saying it demonstrates that Wilmington can compete with any destination for Knowledge Age jobs. “This is a company whose scope is global and these jobs could have gone anywhere in the world,” Mayor Saffo said. The Castle Branch expansion also is evidence that sound planning and investing by local leaders in recent years are returning measurable dividends. “Our efforts to maintain the high quality of our schools, recreational amenities and public services clearly make an impression on companies of this caliber,” said Mayor Saffo, who commended officials of Wilmington Business Development (WBD) in ushering the project to fruition. “By all accounts, WBD executed this project flawlessly – working in good faith to pull together the necessary players and make sure this exciting opportunity didn’t slip away.”
Additional information about Castle Branch can be found at the company’s website: www.castlebranch.com.
Since it’s founding in 1956 as the Wilmington Committee of 100, Wilmington Business Development has overseen business recruitment and industrial retention for the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and Pender County. A private, non-profit organization [501(c)(6)], WBD also provides small-business financing to firms in the region through its U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 lending program. For additional information, visit www.wilmingtonbusinessdevelopment.com