Expansion of U.S. company to create 200 positions in NC in 2012


The U.S. subsidiary of a global consumer products company announced on February 6 that it is expanding its operations center in Greensboro, North Carolina, which will result in the firm staffing 200 new positions by 2012.

The new facility will perform various key functions for the U.S. subsidiary, including accounting and finance, customs compliance and logistics, according to Just-Style.com.

The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area reported in 2011 that Li & Fung subsidiary LF USA would be expanding into a 30,000-square-foot space that existed at 4620 Grandover Parkway. This will be the company's second location in the country, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

Rick Darling, president of the company, stated on February 6 that 150 people were currently working in the building, according to The Business Journal. Global consumer products company chief executive officer Bruce Rockowitz said he expects the number of people working at the location to double in the next three years.

"People talk about jobs going to China," Rockowitz told a crowd on February 6, according to the media outlet. "We're a Chinese company that's moving to Greensboro."

Li & Fung currently has more than 220 locations spanning 40 countries, along with 100 distribution centers, the media outlet reports. LF USA is involved in the creation and distribution of various consumer goods, while the parent company manages the supply chain.

The parent company helps contribute to the successful supply chain functioning of consumer apparel including shoes and clothing for various major retailers, according to Just-Style.com. The firm has more than 27,000 employees worldwide, and houses its key officials in New York.

Darling announced that he expects robust growth, stating that "we have an aggressive style about how we go about building these businesses. I think that will continue," the media outlet reports.

He added that "we doubled the size of our business every three years. That's our game plan, and we intend to continue to do that."

Local officials announced that the company picked Greensboro without being offered economic incentives, according to The Winston-Salem Journal. The firm was considering various other areas for expansion, including Baltimore, Orlando and Nashville.

"After extensive research, we chose Greensboro, as we believe it's the right place to locate our support functions," Darling stated. "Greensboro has a great community, a huge pool of talent, and is a historic hub for our industry."

Growth in accounting and finance jobs can also been seen in nationwide recruiting efforts, as a major financial services firm released a statement on February 1, which indicated that it plans to hire more than 5,000 people in 2012.

The financial services firm has announced that it plans to respond to demand for advice by hiring more than 2,000 financial representatives and 3,000 accounting and finance positions. A poll conducted by a major research firm in 2011 indicated that a majority of Americans want to focus on long-term planning strategies instead of cheaper options that are more focused on short-term goals. More than 35,000 policies were opened with the financial services firm during that year.

In 2011, the company added 2,200 financial representatives, which represents a 55 percent surge over the number of positions created five years before. The firm has predicted that more than 50 percent of these new positions will be filled by people who are changing careers.

"We're seeing an uptick in energized professionals who are looking for new opportunities to grow in their professional lives and who are immediately attracted to the opportunity to work with an industry leader," Steven C. Mannebach, vice president of field growth and development, said in the statement.

This change in the labor market could spur the need for various accounting and finance positions.