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Northampton becomes ‘The Destination’

While the world’s economy stands, at best, on shaky ground, the footing is firm in Northampton County.

Tuesday’s announcement from East Coast Ethanol that they are planning to invest $212 million upfront to construct an ethanol plant near Seaboard is a credit to the leaders in this rural county that good things often do come in small packages.

Over the past few years, Northampton County has become “the destination” for small to medium size industry. These companies didn’t select Northampton because of a secret handshake and promise behind closed doors, they did so because of innovative thinking and strong leadership by Northampton officials.

Northampton County has become the home of Fineline Industries, a robust boat manufacturer in Woodland, Lowes Home Improvement Regional Warehouse, a firm that employs hundreds near Garysburg, and the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research, a testing facility that will help lead the world in finding alternative energy sources. We can now add East Coast Ethanol to that growing list.

This latest addition, with its 42 jobs, is also a “win-win” situation for area farmers as the new plant, scheduled to open in 2010, will need corn, lots of corn, to manufacture its product. In an area rich in agricultural tradition, local farmers will soon have an alternative to market their corn crop.

We welcome East Coast Ethanol to Northampton County and the Roanoke-Chowan area. We also congratulate Northampton County officials for continuing their outstanding efforts to bring new jobs and breathe new life into our area.