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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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RE: Personally
By masher2 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.


RE: Personally
By masher2 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.

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