08/04/04 — EDC says grant would save 120 jobs at APV

View Archive

EDC says grant would save 120 jobs at APV

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on August 4, 2004 2:01 PM

The Wayne County Economic Development Commission presented its case Tuesday on why the county should grant $300,000 to a company to help it buy the APV Baker plant. The purchase could save the county 120 jobs, EDC officials said.

The company is Turkington Industries, and it is in the final stages of negotiating the purchase of APV Baker, said Joanna Thompson, EDC president.

Turkington, which is headquartered in Lancashire, England, is a privately owned supplier of mechanical bakery and brewing equipment. It designs, manufactures and installs custom-built machinery for various products including mixers, oven loaders, freezers and storage systems, she said.

It is one of three companies vying to buy the APV Baker plant on Ash Street near the intersection with U.S. 117, she said. It is the only company with plans to maintain the operations and many of the employees, she said.

The average salary at the plant is $46,000 a year, and employees include metal workers, assemblers, engineers, and sales and marketing representatives, she said. The acquisition would save 120 jobs, she said.

"Your influence in the company's decision to locate in Goldsboro, Wayne County is crucial," Ms. Thompson told the commissioners during a public hearing. The grant approval would help secure the purchase, she said.

Invensys, the parent company of APV Baker, announced last year its intent to sell the company. APV Baker has been in Wayne County since 1982.

During the hearing, Charles Wright, a Goldsboro resident, said that of the company's 260 employees, only 15 percent are black.

He said Goldsboro's population is 52 percent black, and his conclusion is that the commissioners should not use tax money for a grant for a company when its workforce is not proportional to the taxpayers or the city it is located in.

It is not right to the black community to use tax money that clearly does not represent the black community and the total workforce in Wayne County, he added.

"I just don't think it would set a good trend," said Wright.

The commissioners decided not to take any action on funding the grant until their next board meeting.