Sunday, July 14, 2024

EV charger company promises 200 jobs in Durham paying $128K on average

A developer of electric vehicle charging stations will bring more than 200 jobs paying average salaries of $128,457 to Durham, according to a release from the state.

IONNA, a new company founded by seven of the world’s leading automotive original equipment manufacturers – BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis – will invest more than $10 million to establish its global headquarters in Durham. 

“IONNA’s decision to make Durham County its home validates our global reputation for the electric vehicle industry,” says Gov. Roy Cooper in a release. “This cutting-edge company and its founding automotive manufacturers will benefit from the innovative ecosystem, highly skilled workforce, and central location of North Carolina to take its pioneering technology to market.”

IONNA will design, develop, build, and operate a high-powered EV charging station network and customer experience that state officials say will be key to increased EV adoption in North America. The network will support and be open to electric vehicles of all brands.

In addition to corporate functions, IONNA’s new facility will include a customer experience lab for research and development of the software and hardware to create the network of more than 30,000 EV charging points.

“Our new headquarters will bring synergistic opportunities and collaboration,” said Seth Cutler, CEO of IONNA, in a release. “Accelerating deployment and innovation within IONNA while contributing positively to the Durham and Triangle area community, paving the way for a prosperous future together.”

Although salaries will vary by position, the average annual wage is $128,457, exceeding Durham County’s average of $90,727. These new jobs could create a potential payroll impact of more than $20 million for the region each year.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Durham County had a state-leading average weekly wage of $1,823, which comes out to $94,796 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The company has already started hiring workers in Durham, says Matt Gladdek, vice president of economic development for the Durham Chamber of Commerce. He says the addition of IONNA puts Durham on the map for the automotive industry.

IONNA’s operation will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee Tuesday. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $724 million.

Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 203 new jobs, the grant agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,075,000, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

The project’s projected return on investment of public dollars is 108%, meaning for every dollar of potential cost to the state, the state expects to receive $2.08 in state revenue.

IONNA’s grant agreement could also move as much as $1,025,000 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future. When companies select a site located in a Tier 3 county such as Durham, their grant agreements move some of the new tax revenue into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account.

Local communities in more economically challenged areas of the state use grants from the Utility Account to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract companies to their regions.

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