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
    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
    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)

    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
    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, 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
    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.