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Honda to Play an Important Part in Tarboro Economy

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TARBORO — A much needed economic boost is in the works for Edgecombe County. Anauto parts manufacturer is opening up shop in the town of Tarboro.Carolina System Technology announced its plans Wednesday. The plant willemploy 160 people to start, and as many as 500 within a couple of years.

It's a great boost for a county that's always near the top of theunemployment list. Governor Hunt is pleased with the good news. He saysit's always nice to have a new company put down roots in North Carolinaand make great plans for the future. It may take a little while, buteastern North Carolina is in for its fair share.

It's a farmer's field right now. But by next planting season, a tract ofland in Tarboro will be a $25 million dollar parts plant. Area residentsbelieve the field holds a lot of economic hope.

A new automotive parts plant may not sound like a big deal, but in Tarboroit's headline news. Jobs have been gradually flowing out of theEdgecombe County town for years. The key to bringing them back-- hightech Honda electronic parts all produced by a Japanese company that willcall the local operation Carolina System Technology.

Edgecombe Community College President, Hartwell Fuller calls the news thebest the area has had in several years. In the past few years, over 1,800jobs have been lost, putting unemployment levels in the county at one ofthe highest levels in the state. News of the new plant is just what thearea needs.

The $25 million dollar plant will sprout out of a farm field nearEdgecombe Community College. The connection won't end there. Skilledworkers will be trained at the college. The school and the economic boomwill be working together. Local leaders hope for other positive spinoffs.

Corinne Pierog believes economic development in Edgecombe County has beena long time coming. The Chamber of Commerce official says there could beeven more good news just around the corner. She won't speculate what thatit. However, Pierog will say Carolina System Technology is just a sign ofgood things to come.

A couple of hotels are going up at the interchange of Highway 64 north ofTarboro. A lot of big things are happening. And the hope is that thearea will become a large industrial park. The next big day in Tarboro isJuly 11th, when the city will hold a groundbreaking for the new plant.

Wednesday's announcement breaks a long streak of bad business news inEdgecombe County. About a year and a half ago, Nebraska based IBP's bidto build a hog processing plant was rejected for environmental reasons. Two-thousand jobs left town with the decision.

Just months before the IBP battle, Black and Decker shut down its toolmanufacturing plant as a consolidation move with the plant inFayetteville. More than a thousand people were put on the unemploymentlist when Black and Decker locked its doors.

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