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Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 1:22pm

Electrolux Chooses Charlotte

Home appliance manufacturer Electrolux is moving its North American headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Is this cool or what?," said David Darnell, chairman of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, at a press conference on Wednesday. "This is no doubt a great day for Charlotte...a great day for the region."

The announcement, however, means Augusta is losing about 300 jobs -- good ones.

Augusta is the company's current North American headquarters, where many jobs are high-paying.

It's unclear how many workers the company will transfer and how many will be laid off. The headquarters re-location comes in a company consolidation that will move corporate offices from Pittsburgh; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Springfield, Tenn.; and Anderson, South Carolina, to Charlotte. North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said "visitation teams" will be sent to those cities. The teams will help acquaint the transferring employees to her state.

Charlotte will gain more than 700 jobs. Officials said it was the largest corporate re-location -- and one of the most dramatic job announcements -- there in 25 years.

Electrolux says it will keep a call center in Augusta, which employs about 200 full-time and temporary workers.

Augusta, meanwhile, is gaining jobs from Charlotte. Kellogg's announced in June that it is expanding its plant here to accommodate new cookie production. The company said it will create more than 200 jobs, with equipment and some employees coming from a plant in North Carolina. But the news was dimmed in November when the company announced it was laying off an undisclosed number of employees here.

Despite that news, the Brookings Institution this week ranked Augusta among the top 40 in economic performance in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas for the third quarter of 2009.



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