John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, has written an open letter to the people of Stanly County, North Carolina. An abridged version of the letter is reprinted below:
On July 16, 2011, Electronic Recyclers International held a job fair in Badin, North Carolina for its upcoming facility in Alcoa’s former aluminum processing plant. Over 400 people applied on line and over 800 people from Stanly County and the surrounding region showed up to fill out a job application in person. My 18 year old son, Tyler and I had the distinct pleasure to visit with many of you during this job fair. What we both learned: no matter the reasons for your current unemployment, every one of you was excited that a new employer was coming to town and hiring up to 150 employees over the course of the next 18 months. My son Tyler and I both left Badin that day feeling very hopeful that Electronic Recyclers International would begin to fill the void of necessary new jobs needed to get North Carolina’s great people back to work.
As of today, I am proud to report that Electronic Recyclers International employs over 24 people at our new facility in Badin, North Carolina. This number of people employed is going to continue to grow as our operations expand into our new Southeast Headquarters located in Badin sometime in 2012. It is our ultimate goal to employ over 150 people by the 4th quarter of 2012.
It has come to my attention that other companies may be interested in developing a facility that would bring hundreds of high paying jobs to Stanly County. Such facilities could be located at the Badin Business Park, right near Electronic Recyclers International’s new state of the art electronic waste recycling facility (at the site of Alcoa’s former Badin Works Plant).
Companies deciding to locate in Badin are likely to be based in large part on long term power agreements dependent on Alcoa receiving a new license for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project. Unfortunately, I have been made aware that some local political officials have created road blocks for such approvals to be completed. It would be unfortunate for Stanly County’s political officials to stand in the way of hundreds of permanent jobs and millions of permanent annual wages that companies want to bring to Badin immediately!
I am writing this letter as a new citizen of North Carolina; a citizen who does not believe politics should get in the way of solving the most important problem facing the great people of the United States, Badin, Stanly County and North Carolina. I believe that the paramount issue of our economy is economic revitalization using the emerging green economy as the new platform to rebuild both this country and North Carolina’s economy.
It is my understanding that some concerned local Stanly County citizens are holding a rally tonight (September 9, 2011) at 6 pm Eastern Standard Time at the City Hall in Albemarle. This rally is our moment to take fate into our own hands by speaking up for these hundreds of new permanent jobs to be created in Stanly County. Opportunities include immediate local construction jobs and hundreds of millions of Stanly County/ North Carolina infrastructure dollars.
If we fail to send a strong, united message to our political leaders tonight, it is virtually guaranteed that another community in another state will welcome companies with open arms. In turn, these hundreds of potential jobs will be lost in Stanly County, North Carolina forever. Please join ERI and take a few hours of your valuable time tonight to send a strong, united message that will be heard from Raleigh, to Charlotte and every great North Carolina city. We need jobs. We want jobs. Our time is now. Green is Good! Thank you very much for the warm welcome that you have given me and Electronic Recyclers International in 2011. Now, it’s our turn to collectively roll out the green welcome mat for new business in Badin, Stanly County, North Carolina.