Gov. Easley Proposes Program To Support Manufacturing Investments In Distressed N.C. Counties

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has announced he will propose new legislation to provide assistance
to manufacturing companies that commit to making significant investments to modernize existing
facilities in distressed counties throughout the state.

Easley will introduce the legislation, titled “The American Productivity and Competitiveness
Act of North Carolina,” during next year’s General Assembly session. The proposed program would
involve state and local government/industry partnerships similar to existing incentive grant
programs that must be approved by the Economic Investment Committee. Those grants are awarded based
on a portion of new taxes stemming from the investment and on training costs.

“The economy is changing rapidly,” Easley said. “Those companies that invest in technology
and in a high-skilled workforce will succeed. Those which do not will fail. North Carolina wants to
partner in success.”

Qualifying manufacturers that would request aid to upgrade North Carolina-based facilities
must employ at least 1,500 highly paid workers in Tier 1 distressed counties. In order to qualify,
companies also must maintain current employment levels; pay wages equal to or greater than 140
percent of the average wage in the county; provide quality health insurance and benefits;
demonstrate environmental and workforce safety at their facilities; and be current with their tax

September 5, 2007