Nike on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to build its third U.S. manufacturing plant on the west side of metro Phoenix, bringing more than 500 jobs to Goodyear.
Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday tweeted the “good news” that Nike is coming to metro Phoenix, saying that “Arizona is open for business, and we welcome Nike to our state.”
The tweet came just more than a week after he said Arizona was “doing fine without Nike” and lambasted the athletic apparel giant for pulling a shoe that featured an early design of the American flag.
Ducey vowed to pull $1 million in state incentives from the shoe giant. The Arizona Commerce Authority also tweeted its welcome.
Susan Marie, the commerce authority’s executive vice president of strategy, confirmed to The Arizona Republic on Thursday that the incentive has not been reinstated.
Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord had stood her ground last week, saying she appreciated the “emotion” on all sides of the debate but intended to honor the city’s deal with Nike.
The City Council approved a jobs creation agreement with the shoe company on July 1. The city offered to waive about $1 million in plan review and permit fees and reimburse the company up to another $1 million for the number of jobs created.
The plant is expected to begin operations in early 2020 and be fully operational in 2023.
Ducey: ‘we welcome Nike to our state’
Ducey did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday, but his tweet touted more than 500 jobs and $184 million in capital investment the company would bring. “Arizona is open for business, and we welcome @Nike to our state,” he posted.
Ducey, in a string of 2 a.m. tweets on July 2, had called out the company for pulling the patriotic shoe. “Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” he posted.
The design — often called the “Betsy Ross,” though it’s not clear the 18th century upholsterer actually made it — has been appropriated by extremist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the “militia movement,” in recent years. Nike said it did not want to “unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”
Two days later, Ducey was spotted wearing Nike sneakers at a Fourth of July barbecue in Flagstaff.
Nike’s deal with Goodyear
Nike’s agreement with Goodyear provides the company nearly $2 million in incentives if it meets the city’s requirements, including:
- Bringing at least 505 full-time manufacturing jobs.
- Offering average salaries of $48,514 per year including overtime and bonuses.
- Paying at least 65% of employee health-care premiums.
- Investing at least $184.5 million in improvements to an existing building in the city.
A city report estimates the plant will bring the city $7.7 million in direct revenue and more than $483 million in economic impact in the first five years.
Goodyear spokeswoman Tammy Vo, in an email to The Republic on Thursday, praised the deal.
“Nike joins a growing list of Fortune 500 companies who proudly call Goodyear, Arizona home. We are excited to partner with them to bring high-quality jobs, breakthrough technology, and advanced manufacturing to our community,” she said.
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