Evergreen CEO: We’re Not Returning Incentive Money

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The chief executive of Evergreen Solar says his company has no plans to give back $20 million in state corporate incentives, despite its recent decision to close a plant in Devens, Mass., and lay off 800 workers.

Michael El-Hillow told the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee on Tuesday that Evergreen has met 85 percent of its employment obligations to the state, and still has five years to reach the remainder.

El-Hillow said the company moved manufacturing to China to save labor costs.

Officials from Fidelity Investments were also called before the panel to explain its recent decision to move 1,100 jobs out of Massachusetts, despite enjoying tax breaks since 1996.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

President of Asset Management and Corporate Services Ronald O’Hanley said they were surprised their announcement caused such a stir. 

“This was pretty simple to us.  Most of our employees are probably going to stay in exactly the home they live in now and commute.  It’s just not that big a deal for them.”

But Committee Chairman Mark Montigny called it a lousy deal, and said Fidelity should have given more notice.

O’Hanley said they are giving two years notice and noted they offered to meet with Gov. Deval Patrick the night before the announcement, but Patrick turned them down.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

Committee chair Sen. Mark Montigny said the hearing is not intended to be an “inquisition” but to improve job creation policy.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 it’s time to take a hard look at which tax breaks work and which don’t.

“To compare how they work, whether we, the taxpayers, are getting a better deal out of some of them than others and those are the ones that we ought to keep and the other ones we ought to think about improving, so we make sure that we get what the public expects out of the tax benefit.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Doug Cope
  • emom

    companies like these took advantage of our tax dollars, they duped us into a false belief.. there should be some condition when this kind of money is given.. Also these companies should have come clean on their future plans of moving their company and or laying folks off. I hope the state can retrieve the money thats alot and could be used to help an honest company that will keep jobs here…. GET THAT MONEY BACK

  • ed keenan

    Stop & Shop is moving their headquarters to Pennsyvania

  • eddwal50

    if they own real estate in ma the state should use the law to seaze it then have an action

  • Ted

    Don’t blame the companies, blame the lousy business conditions created by our lousy elected officials here in the Commenwealth.

    • Ralph Nalbandian

      Ya, we need to reduce the minimum wage to $2.50 so we can compete with China. Happy about that prospect??

  • Ed Dracut

    Any companie moving manufacturing to China should be taxed on any goods brought into this country. That tax should be the differnce between the labor cost here and China plus 10%. It needs to hurt them to go to China. That is why the good old USA isn’t as good as it once was. Politicans are you listening???????

    • Ralph Nalbandian


    • Ed's English Teacher

      The money should be used for education so that our children can grow up knowing how to spell words like company, difference and Politicians. That is why the good old USA is not as good as it once was.

      • Ed Dracut

        Sorry teach. Design Engineers can’t spell.

  • Thomas Hood

    What do you mean don’t blame the companies? They’re the ones stealing the money! Dang right, blame them!

  • BOB K


  • blackbear1

    I just added two posts and neither one has appeared! What gives??

  • blackbear1

    OK, that’s better.. Let me try again; blame the political leadership and the Gov. in particular. They continually do us in and never are held accountable. They are the root, source of this problem.

  • Paul

    Our elected officials have no buisiness taking tax dollars from hard working families and turning around and handing it out to buisinesses. It is the fault of our politicians (and we the voters who keep re-electing these same hacks) for creating a welfare climate in this state without any safeguards to insure that these funds are used properly. It is typical of our politicians to take money that is not theirs (as it was earned by the people of the Commonwealth) and throw it at a percieved problem without prividing for any accountability by the recipients of these funds. Now it’s too late, that money is long gone and it’s never coming back.
    Don’t be surprised if it continues to happen as we (the voters) don’t hold our politicians accountable for their actions since we keep putting the same incompetent clowns back into office.

  • emom

    There is plenty of blame to go around here, First lets DO start with politicians, like PRES BUSH SR. he was one that started this lets allow companies to ship their business over seas , all because corporate people became extremely greedy. They figured if they could create a product that actually cost less than what we could do here in the states then they would get RICHER. And boy has corporate america gotten richer and of others.. This was the start of many manufactures leaving the country for cheaper workers that didnt need alot.. This practice still goes on but now has trickled over into office work, who do you thing calls you for your credit cards, the phone company, and any other bill you have , someone in INDIA, CHINA, MEXICO, AND CANADA . NOW we have local politicians playing GOD with our lives and ruining the economy further. YES I agree it has to stop, but first they have to hear us and see just the wrongs they have done, I think now they may JUST have seen how WRONG they were in giving the money to a company ,,, All they did was fund there MOVE out of the state,,, congratulations

    • Ed Dracut

      NAFTA is what started all this. That was signed by Bill Clinton on 12/8/1993. Remember Ross Perot “GIANT SUCKING SOUND.” He tried to tell us that this was bad for America and no on listened.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/03/30/keller-large-beacon-hill-out-of-touch/ Keller @ Large: Beacon Hill ‘Out Of Touch’ « CBS Boston

    […] unfortunate phenomenon was reportedly on display yesterday during a Senate committee hearing into the recent departure from our state of hundreds of good jobs at Fidelity Investments and […]

  • polarizerboy

    Let’s see. How about some perspective here? First off, the “State” has no money. It all comes from taxpayers. So, over the past 3-4 years the taxpayers of the state of Mass have put up about 10-20 million actual to encourage the employment of about 800 people for about 3 years. Over the past 8 years those same taxpayers have put up about $33BILLION to pay to invade and occupy Iraq. Which do you think is the bigger ripoff?

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/03/31/patrick-evergreen-should-return-money-to-mass/ Patrick: Evergreen Should Return Money To Mass. « CBS Boston

    […] for his comments to a legislative committee this week. Michael El-Hillow told the panel his company didn’t intend to return any of the more than $20 million in direct grants it received from the […]

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