Protecting Military Could Mean Boost in State's Economy

Posted November 30, 2007 1:10 p.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2007 3:51 p.m. EST

— A new plant in Person County will manufacture armored vehicles for the military and bring a boost into the state's economy.

Force Protection, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of ballistic- and blast-protected vehicles, will build a plant in Roxboro. Over the past five years in Person County, the region has lost more than 1,700 manufacturing jobs.

One of the vehicles that would be built in the plant is the Cheetah, an armored vehicle designed to counteract roadside bombs and mines. At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, U.S. Rep. Brad Miller said the vehicles could decrease the number of deaths from roadside attacks by as much as 80 percent.

The company plans to hire more than 300 people with salaries averaging more than $30,000. Officials said the plant could roll out as many as 2,000 Cheetahs as early as next year.