Georgia has Caterpillar. SC has Continental Tire. NC has “Megaport opponents from Southport…pleased Friday after a consultant recommended the state focus on its Wilmington port for future container traffic growth” according to the Star News Friday, February 17, 2012.
It appears that without a port comparable to other Southern states Southeastern NC cannot compete for meaningful manufacturing jobs. There is limited room to expand the Wilmington port. And if it could be adequately expanded there is 20+ miles of rock that is 40 feet below the Cape Fear river high tide mark that is simply too difficult to remove in order to provide the necessary draft for the container ship used today. More than one jumbo dredge has been demolished trying to deepen the river bed. Just ask American Dredging Company.
Other parts of NC seem to receive the incentives needed to attach new jobs. Why not our area? And, exactly what did that “special committee” consider in their “cost-benefit” analysis? I find it difficult to comprehend that there would not be a positive domino effect from a new port closer to the mouth of the Cape Fear for the people of NC far beyond the southeastern region. Also, there is no reason that our technical schools cannot develop programs producing applicants meeting any employer requirement.
The NC Legislature needs to understand that there are voters in this part of the state that expect jobs beyond the service and film industries. The legislature should know that we want our children to have gainful employment opportunities with benefits and a sustainable future; not just waiting tables and cleaning toilets for carpetbaggers and tourist.
Perhaps our governor should hire SCDOT or the Georgia Ports Authority to develop our transportation and manufacturing opportunities!
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