Electrolux to Gov: Want More Jobs? Provide More Handouts

An executive of Electrolux told Gov. Bill Haslam that the state should provide more “capital investment” for business if it wants to create more jobs like the $97 million in state money that’s helping build Electrolux’s Memphis plant, reports Rick Locker.
John Terzo, a manager at Electrolux’s Springfield, Tenn., plant, was among dozens of Middle Tennessee business executives who participated in an economic-development “roundtable” Thursday hosted by the governor at a country club in Hendersonville, near Nashville.
When Haslam asked what the executives would do to encourage job growth if they were governor, Terzo cited the state’s financial aid to lure Electrolux to Memphis as a blueprint.
The state is contributing $97 million in taxpayer money toward building and equipping the new $195 million kitchen products plant in the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park. Memphis and Shelby County are adding at least another $20 million each.
Terzo didn’t mention the dollar amount, but told the group that when Electrolux was deciding where to relocate its Montreal manufacturing plant and its 1,250 jobs, it focused on China and Mexico until “the state of Tennessee stepped up in a way to help us with the capital investment.
“To me that is probably the best use of the state’s resources, to create these seeds of opportunity for growth. The state stepped up, along with the county and the city in the Memphis area, and soon we will have 1,250 Electrolux jobs over there and probably another factor of two times that (at) suppliers and support jobs that are going there,” Terzo said.
…Haslam did not respond directly to Terzo’s remarks, but told reporters later that incentives for businesses are required in the competitive environment of job recruitment.
“We’re not going to get out of the incentive business. It’s just not going to happen because it’s too competitive of a world. Our job is to make certain that the deal that we do with those companies makes sense short- and long-term,” he said.
Haslam said he would not second-guess the Electrolux deal, which former governor Phil Bredesen committed to but which Haslam embraced. “I’m not going to go backward. I’m real excited we’re getting 1,200 jobs in Memphis, in an area we really need them right now.”

One thought on “Electrolux to Gov: Want More Jobs? Provide More Handouts

  1. Donna Locke

    Handouts, giveaways, highway robbery — let’s call it what it is. The games of the elite high-rolling with other people’s money. The only way now to stop the maniacal spending and lawbreaking done to please the corporate profiteers is for the actual source, us, to cut off the money supply. That would take a revolution at this point.

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