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Chinese Company Consolidates SC Operations In Mecklenburg

North Carolina has lured a Chinese-owned company to cross the state line and open a plant in Charlotte. Bluestar Silicones will employ 125 people there, but it's really only a gain of 75 jobs for the region since the company already has a facility in Rock Hill. The company plans to consolidate the operations at the Charlotte plant. At today's jobs announcement, Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco didn't allude to the company moving a few miles away from its other facility. He just said the state is trying to get foreign companies to set up shop in North Carolina. "Our whole work is to transform our traditional industry into the industry of advanced manufacturing, R and D of today. Globalism is here," said Crisco. "My company grew. How did it grow? We embraced globalization and participated in it. And that's exactly what North Carolina is doing." A North Carolina Commerce Department spokesman says there are about 30 Chinese companies in North Carolina that employ roughly 2,000 people. South Carolina has also had success in luring Chinese companies. According to the state's Department of Commerce, Chinese-owned companies employ about 1,200 people. Hal Johnson, the CEO of Upstate South Carolina Alliance, has recruited several Chinese companies to the state. He says the Carolinas are especially attractive to them because both are right-to-work states. "They're very much afraid of the labor situation and unions. The Chinese still want to have the control. They don't like being controlled by other groups," says Johnson. Bluestar Silicones makes silicone used in many products including airbags and shampoo. Operations at its one other U.S. location in California will also be consolidated at the Charlotte plant. The company will receive $340,000 in state incentives.