CFEDC addresses economic impact of Titan

Wilmington, NC (WWAY) -- The Titan Cement plant has been billed as a jobs creator for the Cape Fear region, but to this point no concrete studies had been performed to back that statement up. That is until the Cape Fear Economic Development Council stepped in and commissioned a study.

When Titan America announced it was planning on building a cement plant on the cape fear river, it promised to create 160 full-time jobs while contributing $2 million dollars annually to the New Hanover county tax base.

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council commissioned UNCW professor Craig Galbraith to address those claims.

"Heavy manufacturing generally has a small economic impact. If you have 100 employees in heavy manufacturing you may have a relative small impact on the community," says Craig Galbraith, a UNCW economics professor.

Galbraith used three models to test the economic viability of Titan in the Cape Fear. All models show positive job creation with anywhere from 545 to 110 jobs created by the proposed plant.

Still Galbraith questions Titan's viability in the area. "Heavy manufacturing such as titan generally has a small impact of the economy" said Galbraith. "Titan or cement manufacturing in general has the potential for greater negative impacts than perhaps the average heavy industry."

In a prepared statement Bob Odom, General Manager of Carolinas Cement, questioned the motives behind the study. "The public should question whether this report was conducted in an unbiased, academically rigorous manner since it was not peer-reviewed and its author -- UNCW professor Craig Galbraith -- has a long history as an active and outspoken member of the Stop Titan Action Network" said Odom.

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Bob, or Titan's PR machine, may want to better prepare his statements.

To Bob Odom's claims that this study was not peer-reviewed: Dr. Galbraith used the same model that Titan did back in 2008, called IMPLAN, for two out of three employment scenarios he evaluated. Titan's 'economic study' was also conducted by a UNCW professor named Woody Hall and was 1 and half pages long.

We know their job numbers are bloated and more importantly we know they are not required (legally) to hire locally. This is a failed economic driver and job creator for our coastal community, which boasts a booming film, service (Verizon/PPD) and tourist economy. We simply deserve better.

Who is the Cape Fear Economic Development Council again? Who is the NC Coastal Federation? How come I have never heard of these "activist" groups before? Wonder if they are on the watch list with Homeland Security?

Please provide a link to this other "recently released study." Can't imagine why the rest of ILM hasn't seen it.
Thanks.

the Star News. You don't even have to buy a copy; read it online. Many in the area have read and viewed; which is likely why the bashers are not slamming moi.

I'm not on your payroll.

Thanks for covering this event. A few points of clarification. Cape Fear Economic Development Council hosted the presentation, but we did not commission the study. The study was commissioned by the NC Coastal Federation. We felt it was important to let the public hear about the study because it had received very little air play, yet it is the ONLY proper economic impact study that has been done on this project. The report and presentation were dense with data and information, so let me clarify a few important details that a very careful listener would have taken away from the presentation and discussion (but only a skilled reader would have understood from reading the report):

1) The analysis shows that even given Titan’s best-case hiring projections, New Hanover County will likely see only 48 jobs added.

2) Previous studies have shown that “low technology” plants, like a cement plant, result in less net jobs than they actually hire, meaning that some jobs are driven out of the area 1.

3) For New Hanover County, Titan could drive away as many as 70 existing jobs for every 100 people it employs.

4) Titan would be unlikely to have many of the positive “ripple effects” that other industries such as information and professional services have, like the creation of a more skilled or educated workforce.

5) Proximity to the ocean, scenic views, historic districts, architectural beauty, and cultural and recreational opportunities are the main drivers for attracting leisure visitors and second-home buyers to an area.

6) The greatest promise of growth for the economy of the Cape Fear region lies in the amenities and professional services industries. Their continued growth depends on perceptions that can be negatively affected by the mere presence of heavy polluting industries, such as cement manufacturing facilities.

Lloyd Smith
Secretary
Cape Fear Economic Development Council, Inc.

Since Mr. Odom suggests questioning motives of a professor, whose profession and livelihood is knowing and teaching economics at UNCW (selected as one of the best ranking school's in the south of 2013 by US News), then perhaps we should question the motives of a company whose CEO pleaded to our congress to discontinue the Clean Air Act in 2011...or question a company's motives when they file a lawsuit against two local medical professionals for speaking out against said company...OR maybe question the motives of a company that REFUSES to have an open public forum with BOTH sides present to talk about the issues at hand, including economic, health and environmental impacts for NHC, of which Titan/Carolinas Cement have been invited to do multiple times. Keep trying, Bob, that hole is almost deep enough.

recently released, noted 138 jobs, down from the projected 163. And average wages of $63,000 versus the projected $74,000.

That still brings in $8,694,000 in annual wages to an area.

So is the area better off by forbidding the project to move forward; sounds like the union mind set at Hostess.

Or do you bring in those 138 jobs and nearly $9 million in wages.

And consider the trickle down effect. Wages earned lead to spending for housing, groceries, and all of the other necessities in life. Which in turn leads to further employment.

Lets compare it to the dismal Stadium impacts
Titan has no construction jobs
Stadium? 30 jobs at $31K = $930,000 annual salary impact. But Mandalay insisted on using the 20 year lease term so 20 X $930,000 = $18,600,000 over 20 years.
Titan 163 jobs X $63,000 = $8,694,000 per annum or $173,880,000 over 20 years.

I'm not so sure about the peripheral impacts but I'm sure they would be significant.
Think about this. Assume 80 of those folks buy homes with average tax bills of $3500 per year.
80 X $3500= $280,000 per year in property taxes paid or over 20 years $5,600,000.(MORE than the stadium)

But it appears as though the thought of a dirty industry is repugnant to many who want to believe that Wilmington is a retiree community and wants only professional services jobs.
Weird

Vog

I will be glad when Titan can start their plant. I am tired of the the fear mongering from the people that want to want to develope this property for their own advantage. These people should have purchased the property years ago if they were afraid that a plant would be open on it.

Fear mongering is all I have heard from this group with no really data to backup their claims. Ideal Cement closed there in 1982 layoff most of the 170 people that work their. That doesn't count the other jobs that supported their operations. There should be plenty of data to show if Ideal caused any health issue in the area. However, the fear monger haven't showed any data to prove their point. I think they have the data and it doesn't support their stand and they are keeping it hidden. If they had data supporting their case they would be showing it everywhere and I would stand with them.

I guess they can face reality. The lifetime tour of unemployment benefits, Section 8, EBT, Free cell phones and all of the other programs for the "I don't have to work" class is coming to a close.

McCrory and the Legislature have inherited $2.5 Billon in Federal debt which Smiley & her predecessor borrowed to keep those who did not care to work on a never ending run of unemployment benefits.

Add to that the hundreds of millions in underfunded state retiree pensions and retiree health coverage, someone needs to find a little Dutch boy to put his finger in the leaking dike.

Add to that the unbelieveable position expressed by the White House occupant and his band of nit wits lead by Prince Harry Reid and Lead Witch Pelosi that entitlement spending will not be discussed while they insist tax increases will be implemented. And the Republicans apparently do not have the stones to stand up to them.

Is it any wonder the market dropped yesterday?

They need to wake up and realize Marie Antoinette is not around to tell them to eat cake.

The hard decisions have to be made. We finally have a Governor Elect who appears willing to make them.

Push comes to shove, I can always go out to Duplin County, grow crops and beef, and make my own wine.

And that is exactly what is coming down the pike if we have another severe recession.