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Rowan in the running for 320 new jobs

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
Rowan County is in the running for two projects that could bring in excess of 320 new jobs.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to set a May 4 public hearing on providing incentive grants for the two unnamed companies.
Robert Van Geons, executive director of the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission, was cautious in talking to the board Monday, pointing out the county is still competing with areas in other states for the projects.
But Van Geons appeared optimistic that Rowan stands a good chance of getting the jobs.
He briefly outlined the projects, providing only minimal details.
One dubbed “Project Waste” would bring more than 220 jobs and $10 million in new investment to China Grove.
Van Geons said the project uses a patented process that creates a product with unique standing among its peers.
Monday night he notified China Grove Mayor Don Bringle of the need to schedule a public hearing at the town’s next board meeting.
The second project, called “Project Stick,” would create more than 100 jobs paying an average wage exceeding $50,000 per year and invest approximately $20 million in buildings, equipment and site development to expand an existing Salisbury facility.
He noted the project will retain 85 existing jobs that could potentially be lost if this expansion were to be located at another North American facility.
Van Geons will ask Salisbury City Council this evening to schedule a similar public hearing.
He cited assistance from the state, Duke Energy, the Employment Security Commission, municipalities and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in working to bring the projects to Rowan County.
“In these unique economic times, competition is fiercer, our resources more constrained and companies are more attentive to the bottom line than ever before,” Van Geons told commissioners. “Working in conjunction with our partners, I believe we can achieve positive and tangible results.”
Both companies are seeking incentive grants ó tax rebates ó under the county’s adopted plan. In addition, Van Geons said both will get significant external funding.
While Van Geons was cautious, commissioners hailed the possibility of new jobs as very good news.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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