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Higgins: Clay beat out 3,000 Southeastern Counties to land Yokohama project

April 26, 2013

West Point and Clay County have something to cheer about today.
State legislators are on the cusp of approving an incentives package that would bring a Yokohama Tire manufacturing facility to the county's megasite that was unveiled on October 31, 2012.
Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins says that this project began shortly after the site was revealed to the public.
"We started working on this thing in November," Higgins told the Daily Times Leader on Friday morning, hours before state legislators gaveled in a special session called by Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday. "They (Yokohama) searched 3,000 counties in the Southeast."
Yokohama visited 65 of their top 100 picks.
Higgins says that when the LINK started to get visits from the company's consultants, he knew Clay County was a serious contender.
"I think there was one month where they were here three out of four weeks," Higgins said.
Higgins said that when the company had his crew fly to Asia in order to get a look at one of their overseas plants, he knew Clay was a top three contender.
"There were some weeks when we thought we were number three, and there were some weeks when we thought that we were number one," Higgins said.
Clay County has ranked among the highest in unemployment rates since the closing of Sara Lee in 2007. Now five years later, West Point citizens have a lot to boast.
"Clay County went up against 3,000 counties and won," Higgins said. "You beat Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas."
Keep reading the dailytimesleader.com for more updates from the special session today.

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