Putting coatings on wood, pipes, flooring, industrial supplies and many other things may not be the most exciting business in the world, but city leaders in High Point are pretty darn excited about a new $55 million expansion in that city by global coatings king AkzoNobel.

On Friday, Nov. 15, the company held a groundbreaking to the applause of a large group of well wishers that included Thierry Vanlancker, the company’s global CEO, Anthony Copeland, the NC Secretary of Commerce and Jay Wagner, the mayor of High Point who just won reelection to that seat.

AkzoNobel’s addition to its current High Point operations will mean new technology, new equipment and other enhancements meant to modernize the coatings’ business and improve the company’s ability to quickly transition coatings to meet new fashion, color and industry trends.

Vanlancker said in a press release that this upgrade coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the company.

“Through this reinvestment in our High Point site, we are driving a historic stake into the ground to push forward our wood coatings business in North America and reinforce our leadership and our commitment to customers in this crucial market,” the AkzoNobel CEO stated. “This year, we are marking the 100-year anniversary of our North America wood coatings business, and this $55-million project ensures our market leadership for the next 100 years and beyond. The US is a strategically important market for AkzoNobel, and we are committed to maintaining, building, and expanding our market positions across our portfolio of coatings segments.”

AkzoNobel has been operating in High Point since 1955. The company’s High Point facility currently sits on 37 acres of land and employs about 250 people. The new investment will mean more automation, greater output and higher color accuracy, and it will also include new research and development laboratories.

NC Governor Roy Cooper even weighed in on the occasion with a statement: “Global companies that do business in North Carolina time and again choose to expand their footprint here. High Point has long been a manufacturing hub, and area workers are ready to ramp up production to support AkzoNobel’s reinvestment plan.”