Monday, January 22, 2007

Lenoir Gets To Google

It looks like Lenoir, NC, will be host to some of Googles servers. The search company is planning to build a server farm in the area and will employee around 210. Lenoir is a smallish town just north of Hickory, or about 60 miles NW of Charlotte.

The state gave Google quit a few tax breaks to locate there. The state wants the job to replace the lost furniture making and textile jobs. That sounds great, except that 210 isn't very many jobs, especially at a price tag of $100 million. And who will fill these jobs?
The focus in Lenoir is on jobs. Just two-thirds of Caldwell County residents have high-school diplomas, according to census data, and many Google positions will require higher education.

Google executives sought to blunt fears that locals would be passed over, saying they have talked with education officials about training. In addition, jobs will be available in security, landscaping and janitorial services.

The long and short of this seems to be, the state will give the company millions in tax breaks to hire a couple of hundred people. These new hires will most likely be transplants for other areas of the state or country, whereas the locals will only work as the building support people.

With my libertarian leaning, I've got to say I am opposed to this. At least the part where the state is offering the incentives. And I'm not sure just how much the town/county are going to profit, considering that Hickory is just a stones throw away and from what I know of that town, it has more stores than shoppers.

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