County approves $25K matching grant

By Jeff Linville -

DOBSON — Surry County has agreed to pitch in $25,000 to land a $500,000 grant to help a Mount Airy business expand and add 50 jobs.

The county Board of Commissioners held a public hearing to discuss providing a matching fund for the grant from N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority.

In March 2016, Altec Inc. purchased Pike Electric’s fleet maintenance division. This included a 205,000-square-foot building on nearly 93 acres of land off Reeves Mill Road in Holly Springs. Records at the Surry County Register of Deeds office indicate that the real estate purchase price was $4.3 million.

The only person to speak up at the hearing was Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, who as expected was in favor of seeing the business expand.

Tucker said Altec will use the “building reuse/expansion grant” to renovate the building based on its current needs as well as its desire to expand over the next two years.

In August Tucker said Altec’s workforce had grown from about 70 at the time of the purchase to about 120 now.

In seeking the state grant, Altec pledged to create 50 new full-time jobs within 24 months and to maintain those jobs for six consecutive months.

During the public hearing, Tucker told the commissioners that Altec has four locations in this state and 30 across the U.S. and is financially sound.

County Manager Chris Knopf told the commissioners that Altec was requesting that Surry County be the applicant for the grant and provide the 5-percent local match.

After hearing Tucker’s remarks, Commissioner Larry Phillips made a motion for the county to be the grant applicant and fund the $25,000. The board voted unanimously in support.

“Altec would like to thank the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, the Surry County Board of Commissioners, and the State of North Carolina in their effort to help us grow our operation,” said Ben Griffin, general manager, Altec Industries, upon hearing of the grant approval.

“We have enjoyed a very warm welcome from the local community and our many customers over the last year and are excited to create jobs right here in Mount Airy that will add to our current outstanding associate team. We look forward to providing exciting job opportunities to trained workers including engineers, welders, machine operators, electrical and hydraulic assemblers.”

“The new jobs will pay wages above the Surry County average wage,” stated the Economic Development Partnership. While neither the EDC nor Altec released any sample salaries, the EDC’s own county overview in March stated that the average annual pay in Surry County is $33,751.

To find out more about the jobs that will be available, visit

By Jeff Linville

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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