Under the Dome

Obama to visit expanding auto parts manufacturer near Asheville

The White House on Monday announced that President Barack Obama will visit Linamar Corporation during his trip to North Carolina the day after the State of the Union address.

The Canadian auto parts manufacturer has a facility in Arden, about 15 miles south of Asheville. The president's midday remarks are closed to the public but open to the media.

The location suggest that Obama will focus on the economy during his visit. The company expanded its North Carolina facility in June 2012, promising to add 250 jobs over five years and make a $75 million investment, according to state commerce officials. The state offered the company $2.6 million in incentives if certain job-creation targets are met.

The company first built its Arden facility in 2011 and employes about 360 workers, according to the state. It is expected to begin hiring for the additional positions in 2014.

In his re-election campaign, the Democratic president stopped often at auto manufacturers to emphasize the successes of the industry bailout, particularly in the Midwest manufacturing states.

North Carolina, however, was not on his itinerary after the Democratic convention in Charlotte -- despite his campaign's suggestions that he would return. Obama lost the state by 92,004 votes to Mitt Romney, despite winning it four years prior.

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