ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – The Energizer Bunny is going to hop a little more energetically in Randolph County.

Energizer Holdings, which operates the headquarters for what it calls “the largest alkaline battery manufacturer in the world” in Asheboro, is investing $43 million in its facility and adding 144 jobs that will pay on the average significantly more than the median wage in Randolph County.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the investment in an email on Monday morning and actually said he was “charged up” about the announcement.

You may not know that Energizer owns not just the bunny-backed Energizer brand but also Rayovac and Eveready cylinders and rectangles you put into your flashlights and other devices. It also owns Armor All and STP for your vehicles and has been in Asheboro for nearly 75 years.

The new investment is for production and packaging equipment and includes positions such as engineers, maintenance staff, operators and supervisors, the announcement said.

The company said those positions would earn an overall average annual wage of  $54,169, which is about 25% higher than Randolph County’s average of  $43,080. The release said these jobs are expected to bring more than $7.8 million of community impact.

“We’re incredibly excited about this expansion,” Abe Prandini, manager of the Asheboro manufacturing plant, said in the release. “Our decision to invest in our Asheboro facilities is a testament to the great workforce in the area and we’re looking forward to calling Asheboro our home for many years to come.”

The company, which employs more than 400 in Randolph County, is receiving $450,000 in a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which is tied to job growth and requires matching amounts from local governments. Randolph County in April awarded about $420,000 in incentives.

During that review, the company said it would add 178 jobs, and NC Commerce officials have said the announced numbers can vary because the state reveals only the number required to meet the incentive grant.

The Economic Investment Committee of the NC Department of Commerce has a scheduled meeting on Tuesday morning, but it’s unclear whether further state incentives might be discussed.

The project met with a very positive response from Randolph County’s representatives in the General Assembly.

State Rep. Brian Biggs (R-Trinity) (NCGA)
State Sen. David Craven Jr. (R-Randolph) (NCGA)

“Energizer has been a great corporate citizen for our community,” NC Sen. David Craven Jr. (R-Randolph) said in the release.

State Rep. Brian Biggs (R-Randolph) called it “great news for the county. The City of Asheboro’s motto is ‘Exactly where you want to be.’ This expansion proves that to be the case, both in Asheboro and across this great state that continues to be listed as one of, if not the best, states for economic development and growth.”

All the good lines, though, were reserved for Cooper and NC Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders.

“We’re charged up to announce Energizer’s decision to increase its investment in our state,” Cooper said.

Said Sanders: “Energizer has become synonymous with powering our lives.”

Energizer has more than 40 outlets around the world and distributes its product in more than 140 locations, its website says. The company began as Eveready in the early 1900s and became part of Union Carbide, which was sold in 1986 to Ralston Purina. In 2000 Ralston Purina spun off Energizer Holdings.