Another month, another massive job announcement for North Carolina.
On Sept. 9, Gov. Roy Cooper joined state and industry leaders at his mansion in Raleigh to celebrate Wolfspeed expanding to Chatham County. Wolfspeed, a Durham silicon chip manufacturer, will invest $5 billion in this new facility, a record for a project receiving public funding. By 2030, the company has pledged to create more than 1,800 jobs.
It’s the latest major economic development announcement for North Carolina in a year that has ushered in several already with many attached to large financial incentives.
As of Sept. 9, here are six big arrivals coming in the next few years, including Wolfspeed, that are set to change the job market and grow the state:
1. VinFast (7,500 jobs)
Founded in 2017, VinFast got its start making gasoline vehicles with BMW-licensed engines.
But the Vietnamese car manufacturer is now making an aggressive electric vehicle (EV) play in the United States. This summer, VinFast opened six showrooms in California and intends to have 30 stores across that state by the end of this year.
Many of VinFast’s cars will be made in North Carolina. VinFast will build in Moncure at the state’s Triangle Innovation Point megasite. A new production facility for complete vehicles and battery packs will cost the company more than $4 billion. The state is contributing $854 million over 32 years, and Chatham County will contribute another $400 million.
VinFast has pledged to employ 7,500 people by 2027 earning a minimum salary of $51,096 per year.
The company plans for the facility to become operational in 2024.
2. Apple (3,000 jobs)
It took about four years of negotiations between the world’s largest tech company and North Carolina leaders, but the Triangle finally landed an Apple campus in 2021.
Last April, the company announced it would build its East Coast headquarters in Research Triangle Park. Apple will eventually employ about 3,000 people earning an average of $187,000 a year, The News & Observer previously reported.
Apple’s office will be on the Wake County side of Research Triangle Park, the sprawling business hub that sits at the heart of the region and is home to hundreds of companies.
To secure Apple’s commitment, North Carolina approved what was then its largest-ever incentive package for a private company. If Apple meets its hiring goals, it stands to earn a grant worth $845.8 million over 39 years. Wake County plans to chip in $20 million.
While it builds a new office, Apple will set up temporary shop in Cary, The N&O previously reported.
3. Wolfspeed (1,802 jobs)
North Carolina edged out New York to land this massive silicon chip facility.
On Sept. 9, the N.C. Economic Investment Committee awarded Wolfspeed an $76.1 million job development investment grant, or JDIG, with future payroll tax breaks. To benefit from the full financial package, Wolfspeed must reach it’s 1,802 jobs-target over five years from 2026 to 2030. The average minimum wage will be $77,753.
Wolfspeed specializes in producing chips made from silicon carbide, and demand for their chips has grown alongside the market for electric vehicles.
“We literally can’t make enough,” John Palmour, the chief technology officer and cofounder of Wolfspeed, said in an interview with The N&O.
Palmour acknowledged it could be challenging to find workers who are prepared to work with this unique compound. To recruit talent, his company is expanding its partnership with N.C. A&T State University.
4. Boom Supersonic (1,761 jobs)
Boom Supersonic, a fledgling airplane maker with plans to reinvent supersonic passenger travel, announced in February it would build a $500 million “flagship” production facility at Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The company received an incentive package worth $121.5 million from the state of North Carolina and Guilford County as it beat out Florida to land Boom.
The facility will employ up to 1,761 workers earning an average salary of $68,792 per year, according to the state’s Commerce Department.
Betting on Boom’s success could be risky for North Carolina. The company has yet to manufacture its hallmark product: a 205-foot passenger jet that should be able to fly at 1,300 mph over water. That’s faster than the speed of sound and almost twice as fast as today’s fastest airliners.
5. Toyota (1,750 jobs)
Greensboro will also host a new Toyota battery plant, the company announced in mid-December. Its facility will cost $1.29 billion and employ at least 1,750 employees.
North Carolina and Randolph County will contribute $438.7 million worth of incentives.
Toyota is working hard to reinvent itself as one of the world’s leading producers of electric vehicles. Its new battery plant — located on 1,800 acres of sprawling land in Liberty, North Carolina — may play a pivotal role in that agenda.
Should Toyota reach its ambitious goals, the company may eventually expand North Carolina’s battery plant with a second development phase. Mark Poole, of the Commerce Department, said the state anticipates phase two may begin in the 2030s and elicit another round of state incentives.
6. Google (1,000 jobs)
Unlike the above companies, Google is coming to North Carolina without having negotiated a lucrative incentives package. But the arrival of 1,000 jobs over several years in downtown Durham is significant for the technology giant, who announced the expansion into North Carolina in March 2021.
The company said Durham could become one of the company’s top five engineering hubs in the U.S., along with the Bay Area, New York, Seattle and Kirkland, Washington.
The company’s Durham office will be led by Kamala Subramaniam, an N.C. State University graduate.
This story was originally published March 29, 2022 3:00 PM.
Read the full article here