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Print 23 comment(s) - last by aceadoni.. on Jan 3 at 7:17 PM

The state of North Carolina looks to Google to provide some economic stability in a failing county

The state of North Carolina is once again looking to court a tech giant to provide as many as 210 new jobs and $600 million USD in investment to Caldwell County. N.C. was successful in bringing Dell Computer to Guilford County and it is now looking to make a deal with search giant Google. In an effort to secure a deal with Google, the state's Economic Investment Committee is offering the company a $4.7 million USD grant to build a new operational center near Lenoir.

A spokesman for Google was reluctant to confirm if the NC site was near the top of its list of candidates for the new operational center. Google is "evaluating a number of sites, including one in Lenoir, N.C., as possible locations for new technology infrastructure to support the growing demand for our online services," said Google spokesman Barry Schnitt. "We appreciate the efforts of the state and local governments and hope to have additional details to announce in the coming months."

Caldwell County has fallen on hard times in recent years due to the closing of many textile and furniture operations. Caldwell County just recently saw the closing of two Broyhill Furniture plants which resulted in the loss of 1,000 jobs. The county also has an unemployment rate of 7.5% compared to 4.9% for the entire state. A successful Google deal with hopefully reinvigorate the county which is currently classified as Tier 1 -- the state's lowest rung in measuring economic activity.

"The state has made a good offer, and we hope Google will accept it and decide to locate their facility in North Carolina," said NC governor Mike Easley. "This company would provide the kind of good-paying, knowledge-based jobs that North Carolina citizens want. In addition, this kind of investment in Caldwell County would help reinvigorate an area hard hit in the past by the loss of textile jobs."

Should Google accept the offer, the new facility would be located in a new 215-acre industrial park near Lenoir and would serve as a home to a server farm.

As a part of the $4.7 million USD grant, Google will be required to provide as much as $480 million USD in investments and 168 jobs paying $48,000 a year by 2011.



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Personally
By creathir on 1/2/2007 12:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
I would think Google would be looking towards south-central Texas for an alternate site.
San Antonio is home to MANY server farms due to the lack of natural disasters. Combined with the low real estate costs, its a win win situation for many companies. I am biased though… so…
As far as NC, the only two disadvantages I could see would be increased real estate costs and possible hurricane issues. (At least with getting power restored)
That would be my only concern… other than that, NC is a great state (was born in Raleigh, so once again, I am biased)

- Creathir




RE: Personally
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2007 12:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
Caldwell County is ~150 miles inland...probably not too much of a hurricane threat there.


RE: Personally
By Dalceon on 1/2/2007 1:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
2 words Hugo, Fran


RE: Personally
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2007 1:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Fran didn't do damage deep inland. Hugo did...but for anyone west of Charlotte (which this location is), they only had to contend with loss of a free trees, and power for a few days (which a modern datacenter has to be able to withstand regardless). In any case, Hugo was the only hurricane to strike Western NC in 150 years or so. Its not something you really need to plan around.


RE: Personally
By creathir on 1/2/2007 3:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
That was my main issue, was the lack of power. My family back in Raleigh had no power for a week and a half after a more recent storm. Wind speeds of course are not an issue though.

- Creathir


RE: Personally
By DiggyDiggs on 1/2/2007 8:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you obviously weren't in Raleigh following Fran. I was without power for over a week, and my parents home is on a 1.5 acre lot. They lost 27 trees on that lot. Last I checked, Raleigh is at least 150-200 miles inland.

Diggs


RE: Personally
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2007 8:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
> "Raleigh is at least 150-200 miles inland."

Raleigh is 100 miles from the coast, as the crow flies...a bit less if you consider the greater metropolitan area of Raleigh. It's not deep inland by any stretch of the imagination...and is nearly twice as close to the ocean as is this particular county.


RE: Personally
By freeside on 1/3/2007 8:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say high taxes are one of the biggest things stifling new growth in NC. TX has no state income tax, iirc. Where is the revenue going? Not into education.

NC real estate is not that expensive for the most part. It's just all the stupid, stupid rules and laws that have been passed by the "progressive" legislature. Oh, and the vehicle property tax. That one sucks ass, big time ass.


New Job Replacements...
By Exodus220 on 1/2/2007 1:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
So they if Google were to build in this location they would have to look to the unemployed textile people to work in their new offices. I am not seeing much of a positive relation between textiles and computer technology. I wonder if that location in NC has the experienced people to work for Google.




RE: New Job Replacements...
By oTAL on 1/2/2007 2:39:00 PM , Rating: 3
Even if you have to relocate people to fill the job openings, these will be well paid people who require services and increase the economic activity... although oversimplified, this isn't really hard to understand...


RE: New Job Replacements...
By freeside on 1/3/2007 8:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
So lots more strip malls (constructed by illegal immigrants--NC has some 650,000 or so of them) and then plenty of minimum wage jobs. Brilliant.


RE: New Job Replacements...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2007 12:07:14 PM , Rating: 3
Did you lose your job to an illegal immigrant?


wow
By Homerboy on 1/2/2007 12:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
168 jobs for a server farm?




RE: wow
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2007 12:35:45 PM , Rating: 2
Google farms are a considerably larger than a little 200-odd server farm.


RE: wow
By saratoga on 1/3/2007 4:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
Plus its on the edge of the Research Triangle, where Google already recruits heavily. No doubt they'd keep some engineers, programmers and maybe even R+D people on hand.


If there is one thing Google has.......
By Schadenfroh on 1/2/2007 4:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
a crap load of cash, they proved that they got more than they know what to do with when they dropped 1.65 Billion on the lawsuit magnet YouTube (which has never turned a profit).

Call me short sighted about that merger, but I think they payed far too much and that it was a mistake.




RE: If there is one thing Google has.......
By Lonyo on 1/2/2007 5:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't pay anything for it. It was paid for out of stock, and the acquisition increased Googles stock by more than it cost.
They gave up $1.65bn in shares, and their share value increased by over $2bn IIRC.


By Schadenfroh on 1/2/2007 6:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
It was an all stock deal? That is not so bad then, considering how overpriced google already is.


another NC political blunder
By freeside on 1/3/2007 8:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
NC passed a state Constitutional amendment in order to legalize corporate welfare. Now the pols are making hay out of expensive boondoggles using high taxes to do it. Just another WTF moment for NC right along with the state lottery.

I used to work in the RTP area and despite all the appearances of a booming high-tech job market, there is something "strange" or "wrong" with RTP. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it may have something to do with the companies that are there, the VC money, and lots and lots of transplants from the northeast. I have come to see RTP as a tacked-on high-tech park in an otherwise low-tech state. As one poster already noted, putting Google in Lenoir County is going to accomplish exactly what? Layed off bible thumpers who used to work in the textile mills are not skooled enough. Anyone qualified to work there will have to come from someplace else and have to contend with all the mouth-breathing hicks who go to church in a strip mall and drive truck with extended trailer hitches. Who would want to do that? It was bad enough living in Orange County which has a lot of college educated residents. Blue collar isn't bad, so don't misinterpret what I am saying, but I am wondering whose needs are being met by the state here?

I guess in the long run if some NC counties can attract a whole different population they might be able to run up real estate prices to the point where the poor, useless idiots currently in residence will sell out and move to South Carolina or Florida or something.








By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2007 8:54:15 AM , Rating: 3
> "Anyone qualified to work there will have to come from someplace else..."

Regardless of where they "come from", they'll be IN North Carolina, paying taxes. They'll also be buying food, clothes, cars, homes...and that provides jobs to many other people besides themselves.


Location, location, location
By ChrisSwede on 1/2/2007 7:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
"bringing Dell Computer to Guilford County"

Should be Forsyth county, but who cares. :)




Shhhh....
By cochy on 1/2/2007 11:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Google is evaluating a number of sites...


...and will end up in Bangalore like everyone else ;)




Makes no sense
By aceadoni on 1/3/2007 7:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
So to boost economic activity you give money to a multinational to build a facility and create jobs.

I think it would be a whole lot easier if you decrease "real" taxes that people at the bottom must pay. With more money in their pockets you can restart activity that way. What is gonna happen when google gets there. Is there going to be local "google" talent there for google to employ..... I don't think anyone was thinking on this one.
They brought dell to the state great. So most of the money the state wasted through contracts through dell helped dell get a nice pay out to setup shop in the state. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.




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