The Triad's efforts to lure a major car manufacturer could pay off. The Randolph County's Planning Board this week quickly approved the rezoning of 370 acres that will expand the area's megasite.
Site selection expert John Boyd says the now 1,900-acre megasite is in the final running with an Alabama site for a highly coveted Toyota-Mazda electric car plant.
Boyd heads a corporate site selection firm in Princeton, New Jersey and says North Carolina holds the edge.
"Alabama has seven members of Congress, North Carolina has 13 members in Congress,” Boyd said. “That will give Toyota and Mazda more clout in Washington, D.C."
A large incentive package and North Carolina’s workforce also make the state an attractive site, according to Boyd, adding the state’s pro-business and anti-union policies helps, too.
"Only three percent of North Carolina's labor force is unionized,” he said. “It's roughly triple that in Alabama, 10 percent of Alabama's workforce is unionized."
Boyd said a final decision by Toyota-Mazda will probably come soon after the new year.