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Monroe lands $140M printing and data center project

23 April 2015

By Adam Bell, Charlotte Observer

Union County has landed a $140 million printing and data center project, one of the largest ever deals for the county, officials announced Thursday.

O’Neil Digital Solutions of Los Angeles chose Monroe over two locations in South Carolina that were close to the Charlotte region. The company, which provides publishing and marketing communications services for many industries, expects to create 250 jobs over five years in Monroe.

O’Neil is getting up to $5.64 million in state and local incentives. The company had said incentives were an important factor in deciding where to expand.

State incentives from the One North Carolina Fund could reach up to $2.25 million. This week, Union County commissioners approved incentives for the project of up to $1.96 million, and Monroe authorized up to $1.43 million, both paid out over 10 years.

“O’Neil Digital Solutions is a huge win for our community,” said Chris Platé, executive director of Monroe-Union County Economic Development. It helps diversify the local economy while providing good-paying jobs, he said.

The average annual salary with the new jobs will be $58,819, which is a lot higher than the $38,730 average annual wage for Union County. O’Neil also is looking to buy the Safran Turbomeca facility in the Monroe Corporate Center industrial park, Platé said.

The county has been working on the project since late last year.

“With Union County workers, O’Neil Digital Solutions will not only grow but thrive,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement.

O’Neil President Jim Lucanish, in a statement, said the company was looking forward to the Monroe move, adding, “People make a business. And great people is what we found here.”

O’Neil was founded in 1973. It is a national provider of data-driven services for medical, financial, automotive and entertainment markets, among others.

O’Neil had told local officials it was looking for an East Coast site to handle an expansion for its work. In addition to its California base, it also has operations in Plano, Texas.

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