A new manufacturing firm will be opening its doors in Pilot Mountain later this month, with plans to eventually invest more than $3 million there and create up to 40 jobs.

Young Door Company, which formed in April, will occupy about 45,000 square feet of a building at 523 South Stephens Street in Pilot Mountain; where the firm will share the building with the current tenant, SPX.

The company will produce interior doors that will be sold at home improvement stores and other retailers where millwork is sold.

Young Door was started by Mark Stukenborg and Tom Brown, two long-time veterans of the door manufacturing industry.

“We had been pretty successful in our careers, working for other companies,” Stukenborg said Tuesday, alluding to the more than 60 combined years the two had worked in the industry. “We felt confident we could do the same thing on our own.”

He said the two both left the industry a couple of years ago, but had kept up with contacts in the retail end of the door industry.

“There is a lot of demand,” he said. “We felt confident it was the right time.”

“Tom and I are very excited to be starting our manufacturing business in Pilot Mountain. It is a great location for the customers we are targeting and we are looking forward to being a part of the community,” Stukenborg said.

Stukenborg said both he and Brown grew up in small towns, and they were looking for a smaller community where a strong work ethic is common among its residents, and he said they needed a building large enough and designed in a way that would allow them to turn it into a manufacturing facility.

“It took us many, many months to find a building,” he said, explaining he and his partner had searched throughout the region — unable to find a suitable facility in communities such as Hickory, Mooresville, Statesville, High Point and elsewhere.

“We looked everywhere,” he said. “Industrial building availability is extremely tight.”

Once they discovered the facility in Pilot Mountain, and researched the local workforce, the pair moved ahead, contacting Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Commission.

“I will tell you, we had good contacts with other communities, but I think Todd and his crew and everybody else we’ve met with have been very supportive,” he said of working with Tucker and the local organization. “We’re very happy to be here in Surry County…it feels like home to us.

“We were looking for a community like Pilot Mountain.” He explained that throughout their careers in the industry, they found that generally the most productive plants came from small towns, where folks had a strong work ethic, yet the towns were close to larger areas where they could get supplies and easily ship their products. Pilot, he said, seems to fit that bill on all fronts.

For local officials, the announcement is welcome news.

“Manufacturers like Young Door recognize that Pilot Mountain offers not only a competitive place to do business, but also a good quality of life for prospective employees. We welcome their investment in our community,” said Pilot Mountain Mayor Evan Cockerham.

“The Surry County Economic Development Partnership is happy to have been able to help Mark and his team get started in Pilot Mountain,” Tucker said. “We believe that this will be a great location for them and look forward to helping them grow their business here in Surry County.”

Stukenborg said the company hopes to have operations up and running later this month or in early February, with eight to ten employees initially, then growing from there. Anyone interested in pursuing work with the firm can email Stukenborg at mark.stukenborg@youngdoor.net.