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Edgecombe to build training center

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Sunday, December 24, 2017

As part of the agreement with Chinese manufacturer Triangle Tire Co. coming to the 1,449-acre Kingsboro megasite, Edgecombe County will be building a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training center at Kingsboro for the purpose of helping provide a strong workforce for the company.

The Golden LEAF Foundation’s board of directors recently announced it has given a $10 million grant to construct and equip the training center that will be owned and operated by Edgecombe Community College. ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm said the college looks forward to being the education and training partner for Triangle Tire Co.

“The new advanced manufacturing center will enable college personnel to provide innovative pre-employment training for prospective employees and cutting-edge retooling and training for current employees to guarantee they meet the skill sets required by Triangle Tire,” Lamm said. “This modern, state-of-the-art facility will ensure the long-term success of Triangle Tire and its workforce.”

Golden LEAF Foundation President Dan Gerlach said the nonprofit organization’s board of directors strongly supported this investment in worker training to ensure that local residents meet the needs of global companies such as Triangle and other manufacturers in Eastern North Carolina.

Prior to the $10 million grant going to the building of the training center, Golden LEAF gave a $7 million grant toward the water and sewer infrastructure at the Kingsboro megasite to reduce the time and uncertainty of getting a site ready for development.

“Rural North Carolina can and will compete and succeed if we work together,” Gerlach said.

State officials said the leading Chinese tiremaker has made the largest ever manufacturing investment in rural North Carolina with the announcement of nearly $580 million in investment and the creation of 800 jobs coming to Edgecombe County over the next five years at Kingsboro.

Triangle Tire will build its first two manufacturing facilities outside of China in Edgecombe County, with both plants projected to be completed by 2023. The facilities are expected to produce six million tires annually.

The new jobs will have an average wage of $56,450, which is almost double the average wage of $32,642 in Edgecombe County.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the reason these jobs are good is because they’re going to require highly-skilled workers.

“When you see the way these tires are manufacturered, it’s high technology,” Cooper said. “These types of jobs require elevated skills, so we know people in Edgecombe County and the surrounding rural counties know they’re going to get the training and education from the community here. (Triangle Tire) would not have come here but for the quality of the workforce and the reliance on us to make sure we get them an educated workforce.”

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