The Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda Press Release That Never Was or Will Be

To: Cumberland County Commissioners
(specifically Commissioner Charles Evans)

From: All of those whom you have let down, betrayed and disappointed

Subject: The Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda Press Release That Never Was or Will Be

031815th.gifPublisher’s Note: Good leadership is scarce here in Cumberland County. The proof is all around us. In a community of such fine, loving and generous people, you would think we would do better and get better. No. The selfishness, greed and incompetence of ego-driven ideologues are trumping those who truly care about growing our economy and making this community a better place to live, work and play. Well, Sanderson Farms is gone now. It’s over. We hold no hard feelings to our Robeson County neighbors and congratulate them on their tenacity and perseverance. Good things will come of this, and we will celebrate their growth and development.

But, since Fayetteville and Cumberland County are still a long way from such a celebration, I thought maybe I could bring some inspiration and motivation to our leadership if they actually heard, or read, a press release that celebrated a Cumberland County achievement. Maybe yes, maybe no. However, it is worth a try. At least it will accentuate the devastating impact our commissioner’s “no” cast upon us. Enjoy!  
The Press Release (that never was):

Sanderson Farms, Inc. to Create 1,100 New Jobs with Expansion into Cumberland County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        919-814-2100
Thursday, March 12, 2015        govpress@nc.gov

 Raleigh, N.C. —  Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina announced today that Sanderson Farms will construct a new state-of-the-art poultry complex in Cumberland County. The new processing plant and hatchery will create approximately 1,100 new jobs during the next three years. Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $139 million in the complex, which includes upgrades to its Kinston, North Carolina, feed mill.

“Sanderson Farms will have a huge positive impact on the Cumberland County economy,” said Governor McCrory.  “When a strong, successful company brings 1,100 new jobs to North Carolina, especially a rural community, it is a game changer.”
Sanderson Farms, Inc. is headquartered in Laurel, Mississippi. Incorporated in 1955, Sanderson Farms is a fully integrated poultry processing company engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items. It is the third largest poultry producer in the United States with production of more than 9.3 million chickens per week. It has 11,800 employees in 11 plants across the country, including Kinston.

“Sanderson Farms expansion will provide a boost to the state’s southeast region,” said Secretary Skvarla. “We appreciate the company’s commitment to not only increase its footprint in Cumberland County, North Carolina, but also enhance its operation in Kinston.”
“Poultry is the number one agricultural industry in North Carolina and the state ranks third in the nation in poultry production,” said N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is great to see the poultry industry continuing to grow in our state with this expansion by Sanderson Farms.”
The company will hire supervisors, maintenance technicians and line operators among other jobs with an average annual payroll of approximately $28 million.

“We are grateful for the cooperation from the economic development and governmental officials in the City of Fayetteville, the Cumberland County Commissioners and the State of North Carolina,” said Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. “The additional capacity of 1.25 million birds per week represented by the new complex will provide new marketing opportunities for the company in the fresh food service market.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $1 million from the One North Carolina Fund. The One North Carolina Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches. The state’s One North Carolina Fund is specific to the company’s new processing plant with an investment of $98.6 million and the announcement of 1,000 new jobs.

 “I am thrilled that Sanderson Farms has chosen to locate in Cumberland County,” said Senator Wesley Meredith. “Creating more than 1,000 jobs will mean more of our residents will have work to support their families, and i turn the additional income in our county will translate to increased revenue for local businesses. The nearly $140 million of private investment the company will spend here will help our county in numerous ways and means more revenue to support local schools and other important county functions.”

“Today’s announcement is the result of the concerted efforts of local officials, the Governor’s office and the Department of Commerce,” said Representative John Szoka. “I am pleased to have played a small part in what could be an economic game changer for our part of the state.”
In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., other partners that helped with this project include: Fayetteville Technical Community College, Cumberland County Economic Alliance, the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, the City of Kinston, Lenoir County and Lenoir County Economic Development.

Now, wasn’t that inspiring? It is the Press Release that Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda been ours. Well, maybe next time. That is, if there is a next time! Thanks for reading the Up & Coming Weekly.

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