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Plant Closes Three Years After Multi-Million-Dollar Expansion

The facility was tagged for an expansion that would yield 100 jobs, and millions of dollars were invested.

The Triangle Business Journal, a multi-media news source covering the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina region is reporting that General Foam Products Corporation will be shuttering its operations in the community of Tarboro, after the company notified the state last week that 215 jobs would be eliminated.

The Norfolk, Virginia-based company is responsible for blow molded plastics like that Santa Claus on your neighbor’s lawn that remains inexplicably un-stolen year after year, as well as artificial Christmas trees, swimming pools, sand boxes, and other products for your lawn and garden.

While any layoff is unfortunate, of course, what’s interesting about the case of General Foam Products Corporation is that the company announced an expansion of its Tarboro facility a mere three years ago, along with an investment of $2.3 million in machinery and equipment. Several local agencies worked with the company to help get the expansion underway, including the town of Tarboro which the report says rallied economic development groups on the company’s behalf.

While town manager Troy Lewis told the Triangle Business Journal that all of the terms of the grants provided to the company have been met and there is nothing to pay back, the city is nonetheless disappointed over the job losses.

Other stakeholders include several agencies, including the state of North Carolina itself, who sunk a million dollars plus into a 2,000-kilowatt generator to assist with the expansion in Tarboro. Still, those involved insist that the generator will help other businesses in the area to operate at peak times without experiencing utility spikes. Allegedly “General Foam contributed $300,000 toward the cost of the equipment and met its milestones at the time, which included creating 100 jobs.”

100 very temporary jobs, it seems.

I’m Anna Wells and this is IEN Now.

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