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Sunday, June 16, 2024

CommScope investing $60M, adding 250 jobs in Catawba County

CommScope plans to add 250 jobs and invest $60.3 million to expand its fiber-optic cable manufacturing operations in Catawba County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

The Hickory-based company, which has operated in the state for 45 years, received a state incentives package of $1.9 million over 12 years that depends on hitting job and investment targets. The agreement also calls for moving $211,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund, which helps rural counties make infrastructure updates.

The average annual wages for the CommScope jobs will be about $57,450 compared with the Catawba County average of about $52,172.

“We are proud to produce the fiber cables that help ensure all Americans have access to broadband, right here in the State of North Carolina,” CEO Chuck Treadway says in a release. “This investment and jobs creation over the next four years will continue to keep the focus on North Carolina as the fiber cable hub of the U.S.”

CommScope announced the project in March during a visit to Hickory by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Corning, which also makes fiber optic cable in Catawba County, announced a $500 million expansion at the event.

With demand for broadband cable increasing, CommScope has faced a tough competitive environment in recent years. It has reported cumulative net losses of more than $2.3 billion over the past three years despite annual sales topping $8 billion annually. Revenue declined 10% in the most recent quarter compared with a year earlier.

CommScope shares traded for more than $30 for much of 2015-18, but have slid since then. Shares were trading at $4.62 at noon today, while the 52-week range has been between $4 and $13.70.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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