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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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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.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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