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
"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.