RALEIGH, N.C.-Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) Inc., facing an eminent domain problem at its retreading plant in Miami, will move the operation to North Carolina and expand it.
The state of North Carolina and local municipalities there are contributing about $2 million in direct and indirect financial support, a Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. spokeswoman said. The firm said it will invest $13.5 million in a three-year period to upgrade and expand the business.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire will move operations to a 160,000-sq.-ft. building in Mayodan, N.C., from Miami, starting early next year. The 60,000-sq.-ft. Miami factory is in the path of a highway project, the spokeswoman said.
The new facility will create 95 jobs, paying on average nearly 25 percent more than the prevailing wage in that area, according to North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, who disclosed the project May 9. North Carolina is providing $200,000 in training assistance funds.
Mayodan is a community of about 2,500, located 25 miles north of Greensboro, N.C., and is in close proximity to Interstates 40, 77 and 85. The area has the available work force and proximity to major customers the firm required, BFS said.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire plans to start moving equipment to Mayodan early next year and complete the move by mid-year, the spokeswoman said. Production will take place at both sites until Mayodan is up to speed.
The training funding is from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. One North Carolina Fund grants require and are contingent upon a local match.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire´s decision to move its retreading operation to North Carolina "further enhances our reputation as a leader in this industry," Easley said, noting North Carolina is the third-largest state for tire industry employment in the U.S.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire has operated the Miami plant since 1997, when it acquired Thompson Aerospace Inc.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire also has distribution and service centers in Allentown, Pa., Denver, Ft. Loramie, Ohio; Houston; Kingman, Ariz.; Portland, Oregon; Montreal; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Guam, according to the firm´s Web site.