Commentary

Significant new job announcement from Cooper targets hard hit county

Gov. Roy Cooper

If there’s anything that North Carolina governors of both political parties love to churn out, it’s announcements of new business openings and expansions. During the tenure of Pat McCrory, there were times when the governor’s office would issue press releases with respect to essentially any new business his staff could identify — even those that would, ultimately, hire fewer employees than the average Starbucks or Burger King. And while Gov. Cooper has been somewhat less inclined to issue press releases about every single new business, his office too has issued many a statement about new employers with exceedingly modest goals.

All that said, today’s announcement from Cooper’s office is one that the Guv can, with some justification, feel especially proud and excited about. This is from that announcement:

Governor Cooper Announces Largest Ever Manufacturing Investment in Rural North Carolina
Triangle Tyre Will Create 800 Skilled Jobs in Eastern NC with Its First Manufacturing Facility Outside of China

Chinese tire manufacturing company Triangle Tyre (Triangle) has selected Edgecombe County, North Carolina as the location for its first manufacturing facility in the United States, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. Triangle will create 800 jobs and invest nearly $580 million in Kingsboro, NC.

The project is estimated to contribute more than $2.4 billion to North Carolina’s economy.

“Triangle Tyre chose North Carolina for its first-ever manufacturing center outside of China because they know our workers share their commitment to innovation, education and excellence,” Gov. Cooper said. “I’m excited to see these 800 skilled manufacturing jobs go to Eastern North Carolina where I grew up and raised my family, a place where people have an unshakeable dedication to getting the job done. We welcome Triangle Tyre to its new home, and we’re ready to get to work.”

“…Triangle Tyre is bringing a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to Kingsboro, North Carolina, giving the region and our entire state a new and highly advanced manufacturing capacity the likes of which we haven’t yet seen in North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “These are quality, efficient, well-paying jobs that require specific skills, and our communities are ready to support people who want the training required to get these jobs.”

Triangle will make Edgecombe County in North Carolina the home of its two-phasetire manufacturing facilities, a passenger tire facility as phase one and a commercial tire facility as phase two. The company expects to complete both phases by 2023. Once both facilities reach production capacity, Triangle expects to produce six million tires annually. Salaries for the new positions will vary, with an average annual salary of $56,450 once all positions are filled. The average wage in Edgecombe County is $32,642.

“…These 800 jobs from Triangle Tyre are the kind of jobs we need now in Edgecombe County,” said N.C. Senator Erica Smith-Ingram. “They are well-paying, quality jobs from a company committed to training and innovation. I am proud to welcome Triangle and the opportunities their project will bring for the people of Edgecombe County.”

That the new announcement comes in Edgecombe County — right next to Cooper’s home county of Nash — is especially welcome given the fact that the area has struggled mightily to recover from the Great Recession and, with an official August unemployment rate of 7.4%, lags well behind the more affluent parts of North Carolina that have shared more fully in the national economic recovery.  All in all, the announcement is a great way for Cooper and his economic development team to wrap up their first year on the job.

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