Bridgestone, Goodyear Receive NC Incentives
Bridgestone and Goodyear are to receive up to 30 million US dollars, following the approval by the North Carolina Department of Commerce of state incentive plans. The grants from the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund are designed to give companies the incentive to upgrade existing manufacturing facilities, therefore preventing jobs from being lost through firms’ wandering eyes.
Since both companies employ over 2,000 (at Goodyear, Fayetteville and Bridgestone, Wilson) the necessity to secure the jobs in their current location is clear. However, the cash incentives have not been without their critics, who call attention to the fact that the companies are not required to create new jobs, but merely maintain those already in existence. Goodyear must retain 2,398 workers and invest 200 million US dollars by 2012 to receive the whole 30 million, while Bridgestone must invest the same by 2010, while retaining 2,083 staff members.
A statement from commerce secretary Jim Fain said that: “The General Assembly created this grant program to help large employers in economically disadvantaged counties remain and grow in North Carolina, rather than move to off-shore locations. The significant investment these companies will make will allow them to modernise their facilities while providing a strong economic contribution in areas of the state where they are very much needed.”