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Is Just Any Job Good for the Community?

by M.L. Schultze, WKSU

As you drive into southwestern Trumbull County, a few yard signs still mark the battle lines over TJX -- a battle that centers on the question of whether any job is a good job.

Trumbull has lots of highways. Interstates 80 and 76 cut from the Pennsylvania line west; Route 11 ties north and south together. That’s attractive to companies like FedX, UPS and Macy’s, who have distribution centers here.

TJX, the parent company of Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Homegoods, plans to join them with a 1.2 million square-foot, $170 million facility on 300 acres of green space in Lordstown that was zoned residential.

TJX is promising a thousand jobs and supporters include Republican Mayor Arno Hill, Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan and the local chamber of commerce -- and about three-quarters of the voters in a special election in August.

“Workers in our area will be better off because of this achievement,” Ryan said in a statement after the zoning was changed. “I will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that this facility, with its thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in payroll and revenue, comes to our region."

Beyond the rezoning, TJX is getting a state Job Creation Tax Credit expected to be worth $3.5 million. It’s also getting a 75 percent, 10-year property tax abatement, which is expected to save the company more than a million dollars a year in property taxes.

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