Blue Ridge EMC helps manufacturer expand

Blue Ridge EMC helps manufacturer expand

Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC, has expanded its manufacturing facility thanks to a $1 million, zero-interest USDA Rural Economic Development loan secured by Blue Ridge EMC, headquartered in Lenoir. Exela itself committed major funding to the project. The co-op's funding purchased machinery and equipment, and helped with renovation and construction costs.

Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC, is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Lenoir. The company develops and manufactures generic injectable, ophthalmic and inhalation pharmaceutical products at its Caldwell County location. The loan allowed the facility to expand operations, not only saving jobs, but also increasing positions: so far, the expansion has added more than 40 jobs, and the company plans to add another 40 positions in the coming years.

Doug Johnson (left) with Dr. Phanesh Koneru and Deborah Murray

Blue Ridge Electric’s CEO Doug Johnson (left) with Exela CEO Dr. Phanesh Koneru and Deborah Murray of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.

Blue Ridge Electric continues to work with the Caldwell Economic Development Commission to strengthen the economy of an area that has been significantly hurt by job loss in furniture manufacturing. Diversification of jobs is a key emphasis in this effort.

"We are very dedicated to the critical issue of economic development and are working in multiple ways to support job retention and job growth, so we're very excited to be approved for these funds that helps Exela and our local community," said Doug Johnson, CEO of Blue Ridge Electric.

USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities, which in turn lend the funds to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.

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