Cone Denim will close its last Greensboro plant at the end of the year. The Cone Denim White Oak Plant has operated for 112 years, was once the largest of its kind, and a cornerstone of Greensboro’s economy, providing jobs for more than 2,5oo workers at its height. In recent years, the plant had shifted to making small batches of high-end jeans for designers. But International Textile Group said in a release, “changes in market demand in recent years have significantly reduced order volume at the facility.” Two hundred workers will lose their jobs when the White Oak Plant closes. “It’s a gut punch, but not unexpected,” Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn tells the News & Record.
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The Research Triangle Park Partnership has shipped its 32-pound proposal to Amazon.com, and business luminaries from Hugh McColl to Michael Jordan have made the case for Charlotte. The Charlotte Regional Partnership prepared a custom-made wooden box for a proposal including 22 sites in the area. North Carolina’s two biggest metropolitan areas, along with other cities around the nation, are in the hunt for Amazon’s HQ2. The deadline the company set for proposals is today, and the payoff for winning the company’s second North American headquarters could be huge—50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment huge. That’s worth pulling out all the stops to get.
Rates will go up for North Carolinians buying health insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina through Obamacare exchanges. The N.C. Department of Insurance approved the insurer’s request for an 14.1% increase for plans sold through the exchanges. BCBSNC is the only insurer that sells such plans in all the state’s 100 counties. Blue Cross insures about 500,000, 90% of whom qualify for federal subsidies through the exchanges.
A settlement has been reached in legal battles defunct Charlotte bus company DesignLine ensnared former Charlotte Mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, ex-Gov. Jim Martin and retired Air Force Gen. Buster Glosson. The battles arose from the failure of DesignLine, which Glosson and his son, Brad, bought in 2006. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2013, hitting investors and leading to layoffs. A lawsuit alleged Foxx did little work as a past counsel for the company; a complaint claimed the Glossons committed fraud; and a suit accused former directors including Martin of breach of fiduciary duties. The settlement announced by Elaine Rudisill, the trustee overseeing DesignLine’s liquidation, requires defendants to pay $8.25 million to the bankruptcy estate. All but $125,000 will be paid by insurers.
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare’s board cut CEO Richard Topping’s salary by more than $400,000 following audits that he’d been earning more than state law allowed. After a four-hour, closed-door meeting, the board cut Topping’s pay to $204,195 from $617,526. Cardinal is a Local Management Entity/ Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO), a not-for-profit company. The state uses it and six other companies like it in North Carolina to outsource mental health care, addiction treatment, developmental programs paid for by Medicaid.
BB&T plans to shutter 140 branches, a reflection of shifting customer behavior. The company announced the closures of 6.4% of its branches last month in an investor meeting. The bank, with 2,100 branches, has the sixth-highest number of locations in the country. BB&T is the 12th-largest U.S. bank by deposits.
Zach Long will take over as CEO of Well Care, which provides services in several Eastern North Carolina cities including Raleigh and Wilmington. Long succeeds his father, Wayne, who founded the company in 1987. Wayne Long died Sept. 15. Zach Long said, “Stepping into the CEO role is a humbling opportunity for me to continue Wayne’s legacy and vision of delivering exceptional patient care, outcomes and experience. We will continue our focus on innovation and high standards to better serve our patients’ needs.”
Norris Tolson, CEO of economic development agency Carolinas Gateway Partnership, says two, “very large” clients are considering Eastern North Carolina locations for factories. He adds that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia and Eastern North Carolina, could be key to luring those manufacturers. Tolson didn’t name the manufacturers. The pipeline—proposed by Duke Energy and Dominion Energy—has won approval, but must also get permission from the state to start work.
Shares of TransEnterix Inc., a Research Triangle Park medical device company, shot up over the past two days, thanks to FDA clearance of the company’s Senhance Surgical Robotic System. From Friday through Tuesday, TransEnterix stock closed Tuesday at $4.01, up from $1.46 Friday morning. The Senhance Surgical Robotics System is designed for abdominal surgical robotics. It’s the first entrant in that field since the early 2000s.
Bicycle product designer and manufacturer Fox Factory Holding Corp. plans to renovate a property in Fletcher and expand its regional headquarters functions, adding 47 jobs over five years. The California company says the 20,000-square-foot facility will house research and development, sales and finance departments and will help it expand on the East Coast and in Europe.