US builder to be honoured this week for bringing jobs to Greenville, North Carolina

As it celebrates 60 years of boatbuilding, Grady-White Boats was honoured this week by the Pitt County (North Carolina) Development Commission as 2018-19 Industry of the Year.

“Grady-White is a great example of the substantial impact existing industries have on our economy and the need to support and invest in their growth in our community,” Brad Hufford, the commission’s associate director, is quoted in the Greenville Daily Reflector. “They have brought manufacturing jobs to our region incrementally and through expansions over the years, have weathered recessions, have innovated to stay on top in the industry, and have given back to the community in many ways,” Hufford said.

Grady-White, which started in 1959 in a downtown Greenville warehouse, was purchased by the Smith family in 1968 and moved to its current location in 1972. The company shared the news with employees at its weekly Friday Focus meeting and celebrated with a barbeque lunch.

“We are very pleased and very honored to be recognised for our efforts in the community, for what we provide the community, for the jobs we provide but also all we do in the community through our people and our foundations,” said Mark Doggett, Grady-White executive vice president.

Last year the company added 70,000sq ft of space to its manufacturing facility, along with 65 new jobs, according to a news release. Previously, Grady-White expanded in 2003, when it invested US$6m to expand its facility by 50,000sq ft.

The company, which builds 27 models of fibreglass offshore, sport fishing, and family fishing boats, expects to manufacture between 1,000-1,500 boats this year.

This is not the first time Grady-White has been recognised locally, having also received the honour in 1999-2000.