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Easley Praises Expansion Of Honda's Alamance County Plant

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley on Tuesday praised the plan by Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing to expand its Alamance County plant.

The expansion will create 200 jobs and provide a $30-million investment in North Carolina.

"Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing has been a stable corporate presence in North Carolina since 1984," Easley said. "I am pleased that they have chosen to expand their plant in Alamance County.

"This new investment will provide a boost to North Carolina's economy. Honda's decision to expand this site is proof that our investments in education are paying off and that we are building a very attractive workforce."

As part of the state's long-standing partnership with Honda, Easley met with Honda President and Chief Executive Officer Hiroyuki Yoshino on a visit last fall to Japan.

"Mr. Yoshino and I were on a panel together discussing partnership between business and education," Easley said. "He is a very nice man and very informed about North Carolina."

Honda employs 370 workers at its Swepsonville facility, which manufactures small engines for lawn mowers and other power equipment. Honda will add 200 full-time positions as well as temporary seasonal employees.

The N.C. Community College System will work with the company to help train the new and existing employees. The wages for the new jobs will range from $16 to $26 per hour.

Honda's plans include increasing the size of the facility by 77,000 square feet and doubling to 1.5 million units in 2004 the number of engines it produces.

"This expansion is great news for Alamance County," said Sonny Wilburn, president of the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce. "We are proud to be the home for Honda in North Carolina.

"This company has a history of providing steady employment and good wages and benefits. We pledge our support to continue building a business environment that supports this company's growth."

Alamance County, the state Department of Transportation and the state's One North Carolina Fund will provide necessary infrastructure improvements to meet water, sewer, transportation and worker training needs for the expansion.

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