The state of North Carolina wants to helps its manufacturing base by creating government/industry partnership for grant programs. Governor Mike Easley has proposed new legislation that will provide assistance to manufacturing companies that commit to making significant investments to modernize existing facilities in distressed counties throughout the state.
"The economy is changing rapidly," Easley said. "Those companies that invest in technology and in a high-skilled workforce will succeed. Those which do not will fail. North Carolina wants to partner in success."
The legislation, titled "The American Productivity and Competitiveness Act of North Carolina," would involve state and local government/industry partnerships similar to existing incentive grant programs that must be approved by the Economic Investment Committee. Those grants are awarded based on a portion of new taxes stemming from the investment and on training costs.
Qualifying manufacturers that would request aid to upgrade North Carolina-based facilities must employ at least 1,500 highly paid workers in Tier 1 distressed counties. In order to qualify, companies also must maintain current employment levels; pay wages equal to or greater than 140% of the average wage in the county; provide quality health insurance and benefits; demonstrate environmental and workforce safety at their facilities; and be current with their tax payments.
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