Google: American factory worker's savior?
The long-suffering American factory worker is getting a break from an unlikely source: Google (GOOG). There was news yesterday that the search company will be spending $600 million to build a data center in Lenoir, North Carolina, a town that's been hit by the steady loss of manufacturing and textile jobs, presumably to overseas factories.
Google's being lured by the promise of extreme tax breaks from North Carolina, and it promises to create 210 jobs. A measly number perhaps. But at least it's the best company to work for.
As a life-long North Carolina resident, I know that our state has been hit hard over the years with the deterioration of the tobacco and textile industries. Since many more textile related jobs will disappear in the future, it's in our state's best interest to lure other industries. From what I understand, Google will not have to pay property taxes for 30 years. In the grand scheme of things 210 jobs is a measly number, but for a small town like Lenoir it is a godsend.
What does a data center have to do with factory workers? What is the skill set overlap?
There may not be a direct skill set transfer, and most employees may actually come from out of state. But someone has to build it, maintain it, provide basic services, supplies, etc. It's at the foot of the scenic Blue Ridge mountains and close to Charlotte & Raleigh-Durham, so it is ideal for tech companies looking for scenery with lower rent. Google & Dell are not the first to move here. NC is near the top in Tech and Medical research. 40 minutes away, Charlotte is gaining 80,000 residents a year from mostly California and New York.
Well, I hope that NC gives a tax break to all of the small businesses in NC as well, that would only be fair.
Big companies like Google have money for a full staff of accountants and tax advisors, many small businesses do not.
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