March 29, 2012

Niyato Industries, a company that intends to convert gasoline sedans to electric power, plans to hire hundreds of people.

Welcome to the wave of the future, Caldwell County. In an official announcement Wednesday evening, Las Vegas-based Niyato Industries said it will be bringing its electric car conversion operation to the county, offering potentially hundreds of high paying jobs.

The company, which already provides electric drive trains for Ford, intends to convert 2,700 vehicles this year, according to the company's website. The site,, also displays a sample sedan that will be marketed for less than $40,000 after a federal tax credit.

The company anticipates creating 50 new jobs throughout May and June of 2012, with a first year employment of 200 workers per eight hour shift. Niyato also plans to add second and third shifts of 150 to 200 employees each. Total new job production could be 600 new workers in the initial years of production.

Niyato will be manufacturing eco-friendly alternative fuel and electric powered sedans and SUV's at the newly announced Caldwell County facility.

According to Niyato Chief Operating Officer, Kathi Hanley, the company will benefit Americans in several ways. "We at Niyato Industries are all Americans and we have created Niyato Industries to put Americans back to work and be the first to mass produce an electric vehicle," Hanley said.

Niyato's vehicles will reduce the carbon emissions in the United States and help the government achieve its mandate to convert government fleets to alternative fuels by 2015.

Christopher Petrella, site consultant for Niyato Industries, has been instrumental in selecting Caldwell County. A current political candidate, Petrella made the announcement at a forum Tuesday in Morganton. He said the company will offer jobs paying from $19 to $35 per hour, according to published reports.

For the county, the announcement is a major victory in developing manufacturing jobs that have been lost in the past decade. Caldwell, like many western NC counties, has struggled with the loss of manufacturing, particularly furniture and textiles, to the extent that its unemployment rate has hovered above the 13 percent mark for well beyond a year.

The Niyato win for the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission comes on the heels of similar manufacturing announcements by Carolina Prime Pet and Lubrimetal already this year.

Caldwell County EDC Executive Director, Deborah Murray, said the exact site locations are yet to be announced for the manufacturing facility. At the same time, she expressed her pleasure with Niyato's decision.

"We are very excited about the potential of this new company," Murray said. "The selection of Caldwell County is one more industrial success story as we establish a world-class, global economy."

Niyato will begin hiring at the Caldwell County EDC's "Caldwell Is Hiring" event on April 19th at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. The event will be held from 9:00am until Noon.

by Paul Teague
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