RALEIGH, N.C. (May 10, 2006) — Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) Inc. will open a retreading plant in Rockingham County over the next three years, investing $13.5 million and creating 95 new jobs, according to North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.
North Carolina is providing $200,000 in training assistance funds, Mr. Easley said in a prepared statement.
Bridgestone Aircraft Tire will move operations to a new 160,000-sq.-ft. building in Mayodan, N.C., from Miami, Mr. Easley said. The governor did not give a more detailed timetable for the move.
“This area of North Carolina fits well with our site search criteria, offering advantages in both a readily available work force and proximity to major customers,” Bridgestone Aircraft Tire President and Ceo Joe Rayna is quoted by the governor's office as saying. Neither Bridgestone Aircraft Tire nor Bridgestone/Firestone commented directly.
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 plant to North Carolina “further enhances our reputation as a leader in this industry,” Mr. 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 maintains 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.