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CFEDC addresses economic impact of Titan

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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"The public should question whether this report was conducted in an unbiased, academically rigorous manner since it was not peer-reviewed and its author -- UNCW professor Craig Galbraith -- has a long history as an active and outspoken member of the Stop Titan Action Network" said Odom.

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