When Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory announced last week that he was giving Advance Auto more than $17 million of your money, he was over the moon about the 600 jobs that would be created. Not surprisingly, like most of the stuff coming out of the Department of Commerce these days, the 600 jobs was nothing but smoke and mirrors.
What wasn’t mentioned was that a good chunk of those 600 jobs could be workers who are already employed by General Parts International, which Advance Auto acquired for $2.04 billion earlier this year. Nor was it mentioned that some General Parts employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the corporate restructuring, or be given the option of relocating to Roanoke, Va.
Net net? Not only are there no new jobs at all, North Carolina will actually sees a loss in overall employment because of the deal. Which means Advance Auto should open a chain of laundromats and change its name to Advance Money Laundering.
Even worse, the company's spokeswoman seems to have taken lessons in doublespeak from Sharon Decker.
“Some of those team members in that 500, some of their functions are moving to Roanoke,” said Shelly Whitaker, an Advance Auto spokeswoman. “Some of their functions will be part of that 600 as we hope to retain those team members. And then some we may not.”
When a company with a presence in the state is granted an incentives package, it is typically required to retain its existing jobs in addition to those it plans to add in order to receive payments. There is no retention requirement for Advance Auto because the job functions at the Raleigh center are different than the existing General Parts positions, said Kim Gernardo, a state Commerce Department spokeswoman, in an email.