North Carolina’s top job-creating development projects

 In July 2018

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Economic Development

North Carolina’s reputation as a jobs magnet keeps rocking along: It was first in Site Selection magazine’s 2018 Prosperity Cup ranking of most competitive business states and first in Forbes’ best-states-for-business listing. Just missing a trifecta, the state settled for third in CEO magazine’s rankings.

The kudos reflect investment decisions that show up on Business North Carolina’s annual list of the biggest projects announced during the year ending May 31. It’s based on projected job-creation goals with information provided by state and local economic developers and the companies. Actual hiring will vary, as business plans change, some for the better and others not so much. About two-thirds of the projects include state incentives.

Half of this year’s list includes projects occurring outside Durham, Mecklenburg and Wake counties. That’s refreshing news for state officials, who want less-populated areas also to benefit from the strengthening economy.

One

Allstate Insurance
Northbrook, Ill.

NEW JOBS: 2,250
COUNTY: Mecklenburg
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $22.6m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $17.9m

Allstate joins Axa and Brighthouse Financial among insurance companies recently adding jobs in the Charlotte region. The expansion of an operations center, announced in August, will more than double its regional employment of about 1,400. With 2017 revenue of $38.5 billion, Allstate is the largest publicly held U.S. personal-lines insurer — most of its business is in home and auto insurance.

Two

Infosys
Bangalore, India

NEW JOBS: 2,000
COUNTY: Wake
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $8.7M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $22.4m

In June, the technology-services and consulting company tapped IBM’s former digital commerce leader Deverre Lierman to lead its Triangle operation, which will include software developers, analysts and other positions. The Raleigh expansion is part of Infosys’ plan to hire 10,000 workers at four U.S. technology and innovation hubs — others are in Indianapolis, Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I.

Three

Triangle Tyre

Triangle Tyre
Shandong Province, China

NEW JOBS: 800
COUNTy: Edgecombe
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $580m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $36.1m

Gov. Roy Cooper called it the largest manufacturing investment ever in rural North Carolina when the project was announced in December. Site work began in the spring for a plant at the Kingsboro megasite that will eventually produce 6 million tires a year. The plant will initially make tires for passenger vehicles; a second phase will add a facility for making commercial tires. The average annual wage will be $56,450, 73% higher than Edgecombe’s average of $32,600. Triangle Tyre also considered Georgia’s Laurens County for the plant.

Four

Charter Communications
Stamford, Conn.

NEW JOBS: 655
COUNTY: Mecklenburg
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $6.6m
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

Charter’s May 2016 acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, with a reported value of about $67 billion, has led to a shuffling of its workforce in Charlotte, where thousands of employees (the company declined to provide specific figures) work in finance, human resources, customer service and other departments. In fall 2016, Charter reported 258 layoffs in its local accounting and finance division. The recent 2017 expansion “involved multiple functions during the year,” a company spokesman says.

Five

Amazon

Amazon
Seattle

NEW JOBS: 600
COUNTY: Cabarrus
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $85m (includes $50 million by TPA Group and $35 million by Amazon)
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

The online retailer is adding a 1-million-square-foot warehouse and distribution center to house bulk items too big to be handled at its smaller sort-and-ship operation in nearby Concord. The center is expected to open in 2019 and will create 600 full-time jobs with benefits. Atlanta-based TPA Group is the developer. In early June, Amazon also was reported to be considering similar projects in Kernersville and Charlotte.

Six (tie)

MetLife
New York

NEW JOBS: 500
COUNTY: Wake
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: NA
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

The insurance giant broke ground in October on a third building at its Global Technology Campus, which opened in 2015 and houses 1,500 workers in Cary. Raleigh’s Highwoods Properties is the developer. Investment figures were not disclosed, though expenditures on the first two buildings topped $125 million. MetLife, which is in line to receive $87 million in incentives related to its previous N.C. expansion, expects the project to be complete in the first quarter of 2019.

Six (tie)

Bill Creszeno/Times-News

PRA Group
Norfolk, Va.

NEW JOBS: 500
COUNTY: Alamance
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $4m
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

The debt buyer and collector that started in 1996 as Portfolio Recovery Associates now employs more than 5,600 people in the Americas and Europe. The Burlington office, which opened in March in a former Hamrick’s space at Holly Hill Mall, is one of two new U.S. call centers for the public company — the other is in Las Vegas.

Eight

Fresenius Kabi

Fresenius Kabi
Bad Homburg, Germany

NEW JOBS: 445
COUNTY: Wilson
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $150m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $7.2M

The German drugmaker is building a plant to produce prefilled syringes for a variety of conditions, a market that is expected to top $6 billion by 2020. Average annual salary for the new jobs will be about $60,000, including benefits. Fresenius came to North Carolina through its 2016 acquisition of Becton Dickinson’s prescription drug business. It currently employs about 100 people in Wilson.

Nine

Corning

Corning
Corning, N.Y.

NEW JOBS: 428
COUNTIES: Durham (317 jobs), Edgecombe (111 jobs)
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $275M ($189 million in Durham and $86 million in Edgecombe)
N.C. INCENTIVES: $4.5m

With more than 4,000 employees in the state, Corning has been one of North Carolina’s most active job creators in recent years. The new Durham plant will make Valor Glass, a damage-resistant product used to make medicine containers. The new product is a result of a collaboration with drugmakers Merck and Pfizer. In addition, the company will build a warehouse in Tarboro adjacent to the 1,449-acre Kingsboro Megasite.

Ten

LabCorp
Burlington

NEW JOBS: 422
COUNTY: Durham
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $30M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $8.2m

The medical-testing company with a market cap topping $19 billion has been expanding aggressively through acquisitions, adding services beyond diagnostics. Jobs at a new RTP facility will include information-technology designers, software developers, operations staff and managers. LabCorp also plans to consolidate staff now working in several Triangle locations. LabCorp employs more than 60,000 people worldwide, including more than 8,900 in the state.

Eleven

Egger Group

Egger Group
Tyrol region, Austria

NEW JOBS: 400
COUNTY: Davidson
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $300M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $5.4M

The family-owned furniture maker looked at 50 potential locations for its first U.S. plant. Site work began in April at the 200-acre tract at a county-owned industrial park. A planned second phase would bring the total investment to $700 million with 770 new jobs over 15 years. Egger, which makes particle-board cabinets and furniture components and flooring products, employs 8,200 people at 17 plants across Europe.

Twelve

EY
London

NEW JOBS: 375
COUNTY: Mecklenburg
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $8.2m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $3.2M

The professional-services firm formerly known as Ernst & Young said in February it will build an innovation center with a focus on financial services and energy. The company operates more than a dozen similar “wavespace” centers globally. Average annual salary for the new jobs will be $74,926. EY, which is the third-largest accounting firm in the world, has more than 1,300 employees in North Carolina.

Thirteen

Corvid Technologies
Mooresville

NEW JOBS: 367
COUNTY: Iredell
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $29M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $9M

The mechanical and aerospace engineering firm plans to open its new corporate headquarters in mid-2019. The company was founded by David Robinson in 2004 after he left the U.S. Naval Weapons Laboratory in Virginia. It was acquired in 2015 by Chickasaw Nation Industries, a Native American-owned holding company based in Norman, Okla. Corvid has about 145 employees. (Robinson is not related to Navy grad and former NBA star David Robinson.)

Fourteen

RiceWrap Foods

RiceWrap Foods
Raleigh

NEW JOBS: 305
COUNTY: Granville
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $9.9m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $1.9m

The manufacturer specializing in sushi rice will create 305 new jobs including production operators; logistics and sales personnel; and managers. Salaries for the new positions will average $40,005, slightly higher than Granville County’s average of $38,857. Earlier this year, RiceWrap received a strategic investment from San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods.

Fifteen (tie)

Tristone Flowtech

Tristone Flowtech
Frankfurt, Germany

NEW JOBS: 302
COUNTY: Iredell
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $23.6M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $1M

The Iredell plant will be the automotive-parts company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility; it has an engineering and sales office in Detroit. The new plant will make engine hose systems, air-charge hoses and battery-cooling systems for automakers in the U.S. and Canada. Tristone, which also considered Spartanburg, S.C., for the expansion, is owned by Chinese conglomerate Zhongding Group.

Fifteen (tie)

Albaad Holdings

Albaad Holdings
Ashkelon, Israel

NEW JOBS: 302
COUNTY: Rockingham
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $45M
N.C. INCENTIVES: $3.7M

The wet-wipes and feminine-hygiene products manufacturer is growing its existing U.S. headquarters in Reidsville. The company plans to hire engineers, technicians, and production and logistics personnel. The average salary at the expanded headquarters will be $38,300, which is higher than the current Rockingham County average wage of $34,620.

Seventeen (tie)

Smithfield Foods
Smithfield, Va.

NEW JOBS: 250
COUNTY: Bladen
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $100M
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. The China-owned company’s Tar Heel facility is the largest pork-processing plant in the world and exports products across the globe. The facility employs nearly 5,000 people and processes more than 30,000 hogs each day. Construction of a new distribution center and cold-storage expansion is expected to be completed this fall.

Seventeen (tie)

Victra
Raleigh

NEW JOBS: 250
COUNTY: Wake
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $5m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $3.3M

Victra, formerly known as A Wireless, is Verizon’s largest exclusive independent agent by store count. The company is moving its headquarters from Greenville to Raleigh. Brothers Richard and David Balot founded the business in 1996 in Wilson. It employs more than 5,500 people and has more than 1,150 retail locations across 46 states.

Seventeen (tie)

Ipreo
New York

NEW JOBS: 250
COUNTY: Wake
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $2.1m
N.C. INCENTIVES: $2.1m

The global provider of financial services, technology, data and analytics has doubled its U.S. headcount since 2013. More than 500 of its 1,700 U.S. employees work at its downtown Raleigh office. Owned by private-equity groups affiliated with Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Group, the company provides financial software, capital-markets intelligence and real-time data and analysis products. The average wage for the new positions will be $66,720.

Twenty

Sitehands

Sitehands
Charlotte

NEW JOBS: 249
COUNTY: Mecklenburg
PROJECTED INVESTMENT: $3.9M
N.C. INCENTIVES: None

The IT service management company was formed in Charlotte in 2016 by CEO JP Rosato. Sitehands raised nearly $25.7 million in its last financing round, completed in March. The company plans to initially lease 15,000 square feet of space in downtown Charlotte.

Click the links below to see other economic development stories from the July issue

Gov. Roy Cooper shows workhorse style in promoting North Carolina
Harry Brown champions the state’s rural areas
State officials press to raise rural N.C. fortunes

Click here to see a PDF of the projects list

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