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Local Government
CSX Shipping Hub to Locate in Edgecombe County PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:58
CSX will open a new intermodal terminal in Edgecombe County. Known as the Carolina Connector (CCX), this critical infrastructure project will bring jobs and economic opportunity to eastern North Carolina and position the state as a leader in enhanced freight movement.
CCX will transfer containerized cargo between trains and trucks, processing more than 260,000 containers per year initially. Building the facility is expected to create 250 to 300 short-term jobs in engineering, technical services and construction. Conservative estimates indicate that the hub is expected to create 1,500 jobs throughout North Carolina as a result of the terminal’s operations.
“This historic project is part of our 25-year vision for transportation because it facilitates efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, which is critical for job creation and economic growth,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “The Carolina Connector will be a game-changer for our state’s economy, supporting North Carolina’s agriculture, ports and position as the Southeast’s No. 1 state for manufacturing jobs.”
CSX will invest $160 million in the project. CSX serves nearly two-thirds of the American population through a rail network spanning 23 states, two Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia. In North Carolina, CSX maintains an intermodal terminal in Charlotte, bulk transfer terminals in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem and major rail yards in Hamlet and Rocky Mount. CCX will directly employ 149 workers at salaries averaging $64,047 per year. Currently, the average annual wage in Edgecombe County is $32,725.  
“In partnership with the State of North Carolina and Rocky Mount, CSX is proud to bring this transformational project to eastern North Carolina which will provide cheaper, faster and more environmentally-friendly connections for North Carolina’s businesses and ports to domestic and international markets. Rocky Mount’s vision for economic development, strategic location on the CSX network, and our existing rail operations and long-standing community ties make it an ideal choice for the Carolina Connector,” said CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Ward. “We look forward to partnering closely with the Rocky Mount community to create jobs and economic opportunities.”
Helping facilitate CSX’s choice of North Carolina for the project is a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved earlier today by the Economic Investment Committee. Under the terms of the grant, CSX is eligible to receive as much as $4.3 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments pending verification by two state agencies that the company has fulfilled job creation and capital investment requirements.
“The Carolina Connector intermodal hub will do far more than provide new jobs in Rocky Mount,” said Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III. “It will enhance connections among suppliers and buyers in a way that spins off exciting opportunities for job growth throughout North Carolina.”
Intermodal hubs improve efficiency in distributing containerized goods, primarily consumer and household products, from the point of production to retailers and consumers. Transporting goods by rail offers numerous benefits including reduced truck traffic and wear and tear on highways, improved air quality and highway safety, and more environmentally-friendly and cost effective movement of freight. One intermodal train can carry the load of 280 trucks.
“The close proximity of Rocky Mount to CSX’s main north-south line, I-95 and the future I-87 and I-42 corridors, as well as convenient access to the Raleigh economic center made this an ideal location for a regional transportation hub,” N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. “This project builds on the investments we have made in our rail system, our ports and other infrastructure to help us meet growing logistics demands and improve the movement of goods throughout North Carolina.”
North Carolina’s Transportation Department will contribute $100 million for track improvements as well as terminal infrastructure through the state’s new transportation funding formula, which Governor McCrory championed to take the politics out of transportation planning.
The hub, expected to open in 2020, and related track improvements are expected to take two years to construct once all necessary environmental permits are obtained. Carolinas Gateway Partnership, the local economic development organization, controls nearly all of the land needed for the facility, which is located along CSX’s main rail line in a primarily industrial area.
Since Governor McCrory took office in January 2013, North Carolina’s economy has generated nearly 280,000 net new private-sector jobs.
Many partners were involved in the development of this project including North Carolina’s Commerce, Transportation and Revenue departments as well as the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., Edgecombe County, the Carolinas Gateway Partnership and North Carolina Wesleyan College.
New Direct Intermodal Rail Service Will Connect Port of Wilmington and Charlotte PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:56
Governor Pat McCrory joined officials from the N.C. Transportation Department and CSX Corporation today at the Port of Wilmington to announce the debut of the new Queen City Express, an intermodal rail service between the Port of Wilmington and CSX’s intermodal terminal in Charlotte.
The term “intermodal” refers to the combining of at least two modes of transportation, such as trains, trucks and ships, to deliver goods.
“The Queen City Express will be the only direct freight rail service into the Greater Charlotte area from a port in the Southeast,” Governor McCrory said. “The introduction of this new service will facilitate the efficient, cost-effective movement of goods between the global marketplace and one of the most significant economic centers in the southeastern United States.”
CSX will eventually provide direct access from the Port of Wilmington to the Carolina Connector intermodal terminal in Edgecombe County that Governor McCrory announced earlier today. The facility is expected to create 1,500 jobs throughout North Carolina.
“The introduction of the Queen City Express fulfills a critical part of Governor McCrory’s 25-year vision for transportation in North Carolina by strengthening freight movement throughout the state,” Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. “Enhancing North Carolina’s rail service will decrease transportation costs for businesses and provide numerous statewide economic and environmental benefits.”
The Carolina Connector intermodal terminal, along with the Queen City Express, will lower transportation costs for businesses while taking trucks off the road. Transporting goods by rail will reduce congestion and wear and tear on the state’s highways, as well as improve safety and air quality. One intermodal train can eliminate as many as 280 trucks from the highway.
 “CSX is proud to partner with the State of North Carolina to bring the Carolina Connector to Eastern North Carolina which will provide cheaper, faster and more environmentally-friendly connections for North Carolina’s businesses and ports to domestic and international markets,” said CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Ward. “This critical infrastructure project will create jobs and spur economic development in the region, positioning Eastern North Carolina as a transportation and logistics hub in the south.”
“The return of intermodal rail to the Port of Wilmington expands our reach into an under-served market,” said NC Ports Authority Executive Director Paul J. Cozza. “The Queen City Express will provide premier rail service over competing ports for existing and future container customers.”
According to a recent North Carolina Ports survey, 90 percent of customers need intermodal service. The Port of Wilmington continues to see growth in containers and infrastructure, and recently welcomed its largest-ever container ship. To further expand the port’s capabilities, the North Carolina State Ports Authority is moving forward with a $100 million investment in infrastructure improvements including new cranes, an enhanced berth and a wider turning basin, with further expansion on the way. The state budget signed by Governor McCrory includes $70 million over two years for modernization at the state ports.
Engineering Company Will Call Catawba County Home PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:50
Dynamic Air Engineering Inc. will establish corporate operations in Catawba County. The company intends to build a 46-person workforce in Claremont during the next three years, investing over $6.8 million. The company has also set further goals of adding at least seven more positions in years four and five following their relocation.
“North Carolina – where aviation was born -- welcomes this family-owned manufacturer as the newest member of our defense and aerospace sector,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “Dynamic Air Engineering shares our state’s commitment to innovation, quality and customer focus. The corporate headquarters will be a great fit for our business community.” 
Founded in Los Angeles in 1942, Dynamic Air Engineering (DBA DAE Systems) is currently headquartered in Santa Ana, California where the company designs, develops and manufactures specialty components and systems for the aerospace and defense industries. Its customized, highly engineered solutions find extensive use in military, commercial and law enforcement applications, on the ground, in the air or over the water. 
“North Carolina’s commitment to the military, our affordable business costs and strategic talent pipelines make us a natural choice for future-focused companies like Dynamic Air Engineering,” said Secretary John Skvarla. “Aerospace products and parts manufacturing job growth has increased 32.5% since 2013 making North Carolina the fastest growing state for aerospace jobs in this timeframe.”
Dynamic Air Engineering’s new operations in the City of Claremont will employ 46-people. Positions will include engineers, machinists, and senior executives among others. Annual salaries will vary by position but will average at least $66,931. Overall wages in Catawba County currently average $38,238 per year.
"After extensive research over the past two years, Dynamic Air came to the conclusion that North Carolina offers the best backdrop for the next chapter in our company’s legacy," said Jeremy I. Morrison, President of DAE Systems. "The State’s dedication to promoting the professional growth of its citizenry through education, combined with a willingness to work in partnership with the business community made our choice a clear one. All of us look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the great State of North Carolina and the wonderful community of Catawba County."
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $110,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent on financial matches from local governments. 
“Catawba County welcomes this pioneer in aviation components and the 46 high-quality jobs it is bringing,” said N.C. Sen. Andy Wells. “Dynamic Air Engineering will be a valued member of our manufacturing community.”
“Congratulations to Dynamic Air Engineering on its choice of Catawba County for this significant investment,” said N.C. Rep. Mitchell Setzer. “I commend our local and state economic development partners for making this exciting announcement possible.”
Joining EDPNC and N.C. Commerce in supporting Dynamic Air Engineering’s location plans are the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Catawba County, the City of Claremont, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation and the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:51
Asheville Councilman Leaves Democrat Party Over Clinton Nomination PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 July 2016 14:16
One of Asheville most outspoken Democrats, Cecil Bothwell, is leaving the party according to the Asheville Times, given the pending presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton and calling the former secretary of state "entirely untrustworthy" and "a felon."
Bothwell announced his defection in Facebook post.
After his initial post Bothwell responded to some commenters who questioned whether he was being extreme and who said Clinton had agreed to incorporate some of the positions advicated by Senator Bernie Sanders. 
Bothwell said Clinton could not be trusted to carry out those promises and that the election of the Republican Trump might galvanize Democrats around progressive issues.

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