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3/15/2011 - Projects Awarded for Community Impact

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RALEIGH – Three economic development projects announced by Gov. Bev Perdue and the N.C. Department of Commerce were recently selected to receive 2011 CiCi Awards by Trade & Industry Development, a leading magazine dedicated to site selection.  The 6th annual CiCi awards go to projects announced in 2010 that have made a significant Corporate Investment and Community Impact. Together, the three projects expect to create 764 direct jobs and bring $886 million in corporate investments to the state.

“Creating jobs is our number one priority,” said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco.  “These projects, along with our other successes in 2010, will have significant impacts on local communities and the state as a whole.”  

The CiCi awards are unique in that it is a dual-awards program.  It not only highlights the largest corporate investment projects, but also recognizes those projects that may not involve large investments, but made the most notable impact on communities.  Criteria for the Community Impact division include number of new jobs created, number of current jobs retained, unemployment figures, income level of the region, and plant closings. 

North Carolina tied for the most number of awards with two other states.  The two projects given awards in the Community Impact division are Facebook in Rutherford County and Magna Composites LLC in Rowan, Caldwell, and Catawba counties.  The Caterpillar project in Forsyth County was recognized for Corporate Investment.

Here’s what Trade & Industry Development says about the projects:

Facebook

“When it constructs its new data center in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in which it will invest $450 million, Facebook will have an immediate impact on the community by becoming the county’s sixth-largest nonresidential taxpayer, even after incentives are factored in.”

“Facebook’s infusion of new jobs as a result of its construction project will have a welcome reverse-impact on the county’s unemployment rate.  As of October 2010, the unemployment rate was 13.2 percent…”

“Perhaps what is most important to the community is what can’t be quantified – the cache that follows such a huge brand name – no one doesn’t know Facebook, the social media network that connects 500 million.  It also adds new muscle to North Carolina’s reputation for attracting internet giants that already include Google and Apple.”

Magna Composites LLC

“These expansions, which will represent a corporate investment of $10 million and subsequent job creation of 327 new jobs over four years, carry more weight in these three counties than they might in other areas of the country.  Each county had experienced off-the-charts unemployment in recent years, mainly as a result of North Carolina’s rapid decline in its traditional manufacturing base of furniture and textiles.  At the time of the announcement, Rowan County’s unemployment rate was 12.9 percent, Catawba County 14 percent and Caldwell County 16.3 percent.  In the year prior to the announced, these three counties experienced 24 layoff events and 42 closings, affecting 5,591 people.”

Caterpillar

“Caterpillar Inc., the largest maker of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines in the world, will build a new manufacturing plant in Forsyth County, North Carolina.  The company plans to invest $426 million and create 392 jobs over the next five years.”

“’Caterpillar has worked hard with many local partners in North Carolina we thank them for their assistance during the site selection process,’ said Hans Haefeli, vice president of Caterpillar’s Advanced Components & Systems division.” 

To read the article, go to www.tradeandindustrydev.com.

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