Mayor Allen Joines issued the following statement today regarding the workforce reductions at Forsyth County’s Dell facility:
"As with all job losses in our community, I am very concerned about the individuals who are being displaced as a result of the decreased worldwide demand for Dell products. I have great empathy for every family that is being adversely affected during this historic economic downturn. As a city we are doing everything possible to help our community through this difficult time.
"Mr. Mehran Ravanpay, the plant manager at Dell, has informed me that the workforce at our local facility had increased to approximately 1,400 people and that this reduction affects only a small percentage of the workforce. Obviously, we are very grateful for the approximately 1,200 jobs that remain here. Dell continues to be among our leading employers and corporate citizens.
"We have every confidence that as the economy improves, so will the employment opportunities at this facility.
"I want to assure the citizens of Winston Salem that our investment grants that brought Dell to this community are well protected through a formal agreement that requires the company to create and maintain a specific number of jobs, as well as to make a specified taxable monetary investment in plant facilities and equipment over the 15-year period of the agreement.
"It is important to understand that our city’s investment grants are contingent upon Dell meeting those levels, which include investing at least $100 million in the plant and its equipment, and creating 1,700 jobs by the end of 2010.
"To date, the company has invested $112 million in this plant and equipment and today pays more than half a million dollars to the city each year in property taxes. The job reductions will not affect these tax payments. In fact, our agreement specifically states that our annual investment grants will not exceed the amount of new property tax the city receives each year from Dell.
"It is also important to note that the presence of Dell in our community has attracted five additional companies that do business with Dell, creating new jobs and contributing approximately $125,000 to $140,000 annually in property taxes to the city.
"From an employment standpoint, we need to keep in mind that Dell has more than a year and a half before it has to meet the 1,700-job target. If it does not meet this target, then the company is required to repay the city a portion of the incentive grants related to job creation. The agreement specifies that these jobs must be full-time or full-time equivalent and pay at least $28,000 annually."