The Economic Development Partnership of NC (“EDPNC”) and the NC Department of Commerce announced 28,690 new jobs in 2022, representing 182 business recruitment, expansions and/or rural development projects – a projected capital investment into our state of $19.3 billion over the next several years. A little over 12,000 of the total jobs announced – a combined investment of $9.4 billion – are specifically planned for the greater Raleigh-Durham metro area and north central counties.
Topping our local economic development news were announcements by VinFast, a Vietnamese carmaker expected to build a new automotive assembly and battery manufacturing facility in Chatham County, creating 7,500 new jobs; and Durham-based Wolfspeed, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of semiconductor products, which selected Siler City for its next $5 billion manufacturing facility – creating another 1,800 jobs. Additional expansion announcements were made by Alamance Foods; as well as Catalent, a biotechnology company; Berk-Tek, a leading manufacturer of fiber optic cables; and Sunlight Batteries USA, a subsidiary of Sunlight Group, a world-leading technology company headquartered in Greece.
The state’s infrastructure, favorable regulatory environment, corporate tax structure, performance-based incentive programs, energy availability and cost, and competitive labor environment have all earned North Carolina accolades and rankings among the best in the United States for doing business.
The Raleigh-Durham metro region has long been an economic powerhouse, seeing 92% population growth since 2000. Its accessibility via the state’s extensive highway system, regional and international airports, deep water seaports, and the largest consolidated rail system in the U.S. provide efficient access to both domestic and global markets. Its prime location along the eastern seaboard puts almost half the U.S. population within a day’s drive.
Higher education is considered the cornerstone of the Raleigh-Durham metro region (informally known as “The Triangle” due to the proximity of Duke University, NC State and UNC Chapel Hill to the world-renowned Research Triangle Park). These tier-one research universities, along with twelve additional colleges and universities, and the largest community college in the state, Wake Tech, are a major contributor to the region’s high-performance workforce. Companies relocate and expand here because of the quality and depth of the existing talent pool and the pipeline of graduates coming from these educational facilities.
When the various businesses were asked the question of why they chose the Triangle for their corporate expansion, these are a few of the reasons given:
“We are particularly excited and proud to not only expand Wolfspeed’s footprint in our home state of North Carolina, but also further our relationship with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to nurture our best-in-class talent pool.” – Wolfspeed
“By building its commercial-scale facility in North Carolina, Believer Meats is taking advantage of the talent, workforce, and resources the state offers.” – Believer Meats
“Fuquay-Varina is an attractive location for us in many ways, but we especially appreciate the access to such a talented workforce that we need to continue growing our business.” – Berk-Tek
“North Carolina’s strong commitments in building a clean energy economy, fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation make it an ideal location for VinFast to develop its premium, smart and environmentally friendly EVs.” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO.