MEBANE, N.C. -- Walmart's expansion to Alamance County is complete.
Walmart officially opened its $100 million, 450,000 sq. ft. grocery distribution center in Mebane Wednesday.
The center already employs more than 550 people and will serve 55 stores in North Carolina and Virginia.
The center's general manager, Phil Ingram, said the future is bright for the company and Alamance County.
"It’s just really cool how it all comes together, and how you bond with your community," Ingram said. "Here’s what I’ve grown to know over my time as a general manager: the more my teams get involved in the community, the bigger impact we have in the community. That all comes right back around to our base business."
Deborah Wilson has worked at Walmart Distribution Centers for more than 20 years. She recently moved to North Carolina to take a position at Mebane's center.
"People's lives are getting better because they get to get jobs," she said. "Some people have been without jobs, and now, they come to get competitive wages."
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. McCrory said Walmart is already the state's biggest employer, and he expects this new distribution center to have a big impact on Alamance County -- and the state -- for decades.
"We’ve done a lot of great work here in Alamance County," McCrory said. "The unemployment rate’s dropped from double digits to 4.4 percent in Alamance County, and they’ve helped lead this incredible economic revival in North Carolina."
Walmart officials also announced the center will donate a total of $15,000 in grants to Second Harvest Food Bank, Women's Resource Center and Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Ingram also said the center is still looking to hire 20 new employees.