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QVC Breaks Ground on $70 Million Center That Will Employ Hundreds

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ROCKY MOUNT — In the wake of Hurricane Floyd, residents in Eastern North Carolina have not had too many reasons to celebrate.

Today they have a reason to get excited. Hundreds of new jobs are coming to the area.

Home-shopping network QVC broke ground Thursday on a new distribution center. The project will bring nearly 800 jobs and $70 million in investment to Edgecombe County.

The project is 30 to 45 days behind schedule because of Floyd, but officials hope it will be finished by August 2000.

Rumors had circulated widely in the county that QVC had decided not to go forward with the project because of the hurricane.

The company's Vice President of Operations says that backing out of the deal was never a possibility. "I don't know where the rumors got started. We heard them," says Thomas Downs.

"There was never any question in our minds that we were coming here. As we said back when we made that decision in July, we really made it based on the people here," Downs says.

County officials believe the project will boost morale and employment rates, which were expected to rise some because of hurricane-related damage.

"It's a good psychological boost for Edgecombe County," said County Manager Joseph Durham.

QVC is currently accepting applications for the Edgecombe County distribution center. If you are interested, you can pick up an application at one of the Employment Security Commission offices in Rocky Mount and Tarboro.

The company hopes to begin hiring in the spring.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
John Conway, Web Editor

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