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.
Cape Fear Economic Development Council, Inc.
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