WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Gov. Perdue announced Wednesday Herbalife will make the former Dell plant in Winston-Salem its new East Coast manufacturing facility, creating nearly 500 jobs.
"Herbalife you are going to be glad you picked this community to live and work in." she proclaimed.
The vitamin and weight loss supplement company promises to invest $106.5 million and create 493 local full-time jobs over the next three years in exchange for $13.9 million in state and local incentives.
Local economic leaders were able to beat out officials in Gwinnett County, Georgia, who were also trying to lure Herbalife, thanks mainly to a vacant state-of-the-art 750,000-square-foot facility open and ready.
“It's nice that they don't have to construct, – it's already there,” said Margaret Crowley who lives near the plant and remembers the hope it brought when it was first built.
“We went through all the construction on the road and the big plans, – very excited and then it fizzled out.”
The failure of Dell to keep operating the facility, after being handed millions in taxpayer incentives, leaves many local residents skeptical of new companies and local leaders negotiating more incentives deals.
Dell paid back the incentives due when it failed to stay open.
"I really hope they are here to stay," said Winston-Salem resident Sandra Williams who had a member of her family get laid off when Dell left town.
“They bought a house, bought two cars and then the rug is pulled out ... still at Forsyth Tech trying to find a job.”
The new jobs are expected to pay around 40,000 thousand dollars a year.
Herbalife hopes to be up and running by June 2014.