Many in Garner are devastated at the news that an agreement could not be reached to keep ConAgra operating in Garner. However, businesses play state against state for the best deals so ConAgra will be relocating to Troy, Ohio.
Why ConAgra Moved
The state of North Carolina went to battle trying hard to save the plant, but was no match against the state of Ohio which offered up to $9.58 million in incentives to ConAgra to relocate to their area. The state of North Carolina only offered $2.2 million to ConAgra to keep the Slim Jim plant in Garner.
Deputy Commerce Secretary, Dale Carroll, understands that at a time with high unemployment every effort to keep any part of the plant open is necessary, but their goal proved unattainable. North Carolina was just not prepared to give away such a high tax base as was Ohio, who worked out a plan with ConAgra to waive all property taxes and 70% of employment taxes for 15 years. Beasley said, “It’s hard to compete whenever Ohio gives away the whole ball park.”
When the move takes place the new ConAgra plant in Ohio will only operate with 190 workers who will not be part of a union, compared to the larger numbers of unionized workers in Garner.
Gift to Garner
As a gift to the town of Garner, the ConAgra factory and the 96 acres that it sits on will be donated, along with $500,000 to help market the industrial property. Tony Beasley, Garner’s Economic Development Director, has high hopes for what will be done with the plant once ConAgra relocates. Beasley’s goal is to create at least 440 jobs or more in the former ConAgra property in years to come.