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National Guard to get $56M HQ; 4,200 new jobs expected

Posted March 25, 2009

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— The state has received about $41.5 million in federal stimulus money for a new headquarters building in Raleigh for the North Carolina National Guard.

In addition to serving as the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, the 237,000-square-foot building will house the state Division of Emergency Management and communications offices for the State Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation.

N.C. National Guard headquarters rendering Contractors await National Guard project

Work on the project, which is expected to create up to 4,200 jobs, could start by early summer on an 18-acre site west of Blue Ridge Road and north of Wade Avenue. It is scheduled to be finished within two years.

Officials said some jobs might last a couple of months, while others last more than a year. They predicted the project also would ripple through construction companies, allowing them to keep some office staff on the payroll.

"All the design was done. Everything was complete. We were just waiting on federal funding to initiate the project," National Guard spokesman Maj. Matt Handley said.

In addition to the stimulus money, the state also set aside $14.5 million from the state general fund and Highway Trust Fund for the project.

Gov. Beverly Perdue credited Fourth District Congressman David Price with securing funding for the Army National Guard account in the federal recovery legislation.

“This project is big a win for North Carolina. It provides a state-of-the-art facility that will better coordinate key state services and is ready to put people to work in much needed jobs,” Perdue said in a statement.

"The recovery package was designed to create jobs, and it is encouraging to see such a direct and significant job impact here in North Carolina and the Triangle," Price said in a statement.

Contractors greeted news of the project enthusiastically, saying winning a piece of the construction work could help them rehire workers laid off during the recession.

"It gives us the opportunity to be out there to compete again," said Terri Pullen, business and operations manager of Pullen Construction Co.

Pullen said her company has laid off 20 to 25 workers in recent months, but she said she's planning for the economy to turn around with stimulus-funded projects.

In January, nearly 10,500 construction workers and tradesmen filed initial unemployment compensation claims in North Carolina. Over the last year, construction and natural resources jobs took the biggest hit in Wake County, shedding about 7,400 jobs, or about 19 percent, from early 2008 levels.

"Even now, I'm accepting applications and resumes. So, (we're) planning to hire in the future. That's what it means for us," Pullen said.

Once the new headquarters opens, the National Guard will continue to use its current facility. Some offices are now housed in temporary trailers, and officials said the transition of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve requires more facilities to meet the increased service demands.

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  • roncorey1 Mar 26, 2009

    I have no problems with the Federal fovernment creating jobs with worthwhile projects, as long as they don't use illegal alien labor through crooked contractors.
    Better to make government funded jobs here than in IRAQ or Afghanistan!!

  • thelewisclan Mar 25, 2009

    I have to second the opinion that the HQ they have now is more than adequate. I think it's ridiculous that they are spending that much money on a building when they are cutting jobs left and right in the very building that already exists. Funding is disappearing for positions for Soldiers that need jobs, but there's enough to build a new building? We can't think of something better to do with that money? Maybe sponsor another NASCAR or fishing boat(sarcasm)? Everyday that I read these articles I feel more and more that our country is going down a bad road - we scream for the heads of the AIG employees that took bonuses, but then we build a building that doesn't need to be built..isn't that same wastefulness? Isn't that taking advantage of taxpayer money for unnecessary expense?

  • bash177 Mar 25, 2009

    They have been designing this building for a couple of years now, way before the economy tanked. If they didnt start the construction, then all of the design work would be for nothing. It is better for them to build this building now, when it would be cheaper, than to wait until the economy gets pumping again.

    I do not know the exact math but it will probably create close to that many jobs. Aside for the direct construction workers, it will also create indirect jobs in the manufacturing of the materials, (which includes management and accounting), there is also the transportation of everything.

    In this economy, every kind of construction is good. Most of the transportation projects are only repaving. Which do not create many jobs. Construction is what brings the economy out of recessions.

  • chivegas Mar 25, 2009

    4,200 jobs in 237,000 sq ft. I'd love to see that, that's about a 2.2x2.2ft area for each person not even including common areas...

    What a joke, 4,200 jobs...that's some Democrat math if I've ever heard it.

  • demo7691 Mar 25, 2009

    Well with all the empty buildings from businesses closing Bev would buy/lease one of them to save some money but I would have thought that but spend thrift Bev should use her head for something other than what the hair stylist fixes each week on our account. I guess not only her true spending comes out now with this and her friend in the made up $200000 plus job but now she can cut jobs to build a new project. Im sure they need a new building but this can be put off till the economy is better than it is now either way. One minute she is talking cutting jobs and the next lets spend it like a true libeial she is. Make up your mind Bev and stop using our state and money as a monopoly board. State employees/voters will remember this next election.

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Mar 25, 2009

    That's 4,200 "temporary" jobs. I sure hope there's funding to reinforce General Ingram's "I Love Me" wall.

    Personally, I think what they currently have as a HQ is adequate. How about puting the money where it can provide for a worthy cause like soldiers' equipment.

  • original intent Mar 25, 2009

    This will probably be where they build the FEMA camp to lock up all the folks who voted for 3rd party candidates,Christians,Orthodox Jews,Muslims,Boy Scouts,folks who KNOW what the US Constitution says,and anyone with a Confederate flag liscense plate on their pickup...IF you do not follow the dicates of Heir Obama and the 111th Politburo...As for haggis comment..Here is a quote from Original patriot Sam Adams..."If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

  • ranquick Mar 25, 2009

    They should psot online or somewhere each of the 4200 jobs it creates. I bet that half come from out of state.

  • mjjunk Mar 25, 2009

    So... since so many people are asking about the 4200 jobs... perhaps WRAL should update the article and expain where those jobs are expected.

  • ifcdirector Mar 25, 2009

    All the illegal alien hiring builders and the dependents of the families of the illegals in Mexico thank you.

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