RALEIGH−North Carolina is already building beyond a blockbuster 2021 when it comes to economic development projects.
Since the calendar rolled over to 2022, the state has announced about $ 7 billion in capital investment from seven projects. Throughout the 2021 year, about $ 10 billion in investment and 23,000 jobs were promised.
Projects announced last week alone are estimated to bring a minimum of nearly 10,000 jobs to the state.
The 2022 list includes Tuesday’s announcement that Vietnamese automaker VinFast would build a $ 4 billion car factory and assembly plant for electric batteries in Chatham County. That’s in addition to announcements earlier this year from Eli Lilly and Boom Supersonic.
And on Thursday, Macy’s Corporate Services said it will build a 1.4 million-square-foot delivery center to better meet demand due to a growing number of online orders, after landing an incentive package worth a total of about $ 11 million from the state. The company plans to create nearly 2,800 jobs.
The VinFast project is based on the state’s “clean energy economy”, a term used by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in announcing the VinFast agreement.
Automaker VinFast will invest $ 4B in Chatham County assembly plant, lands $ 1.25B incentive package
Release of clean energy potential
“North Carolina’s government is fully committed to unleashing the economic development potential of the clean energy economy, and yesterday’s announcement validates North Carolina as the preferred location for innovative mobility companies such as VinFast,” said Christopher Chung, CEO of the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership. said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Eli Lilly said it would invest $ 1 billion in building a new production facility at Concord, which would create nearly 600 jobs, and Boom Supersonic said it would locate a space plant at Piedmont Triad Airport, investing $ 500 million and create as many as 2,400 jobs, including at least 1,750 on-site jobs by 2030.
And there may be more jobs.
Sources have told WRAL TechWire that despite a semiconductor company dropping North Carolina from its list, other semiconductor companies are actively considering locating facilities in the state.
What the $ 4B VinFast plant means for the triangle – and the state
A transformation of North Carolina’s economy?
At the moment, the big headline producer is VinFast.
“This is one of the most transformative economic development opportunities in the long history of our state, and we are confident that VinFast will have a major impact on North Carolina and its people for decades to come,” Chung said.
Chung also called Toyota’s planned $ 1.29 billion electric battery plant in Randolph County a transformative project for the state in a December interview with WRAL TechWire.
Macy’s invests $ 584 million, will employ nearly 2,800 employees at the new Rowan County Fulfillment Center
Ryan Combs, CEO of Research Triangle Regional Partnership, called the VinFast agreement “monumental.”
And more investment from companies along the electric car supply chain could also come. According to Chung, the Economic Development Partnership in North Carolina commissioned a study on the supply chain for electric vehicles to prepare the state and its economic developers last year.
An example that the state could follow is what happened after the announcement of a Tesla plant in Reno, Nev., Which Chung noted as an area that the state and its economic developers could consider reviewing in their ongoing research. in an interview in December 2021.
Chung confirmed to WRAL TechWire in December that about half a dozen projects related to electric vehicles were under consideration at some point during 2021.
VinFast news is ‘monumental’ for NC, tax incentives are still needed, says Research Triangle Partnership Manager
2021 a ‘blockbuster year’
The onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted labor markets and the supply chain. But while 2020 was a year of uncertainty for many, 2021 was a blockbuster year for companies, said Melissa Smith, vice president of business recruitment and development at EDPNC, in the partnership’s annual report.
According to the report, the organization was involved in 174 business expansions, relocations or selection projects that together are expected to create more than 23,000 new jobs with more than $ 10 billion in combined capital investment.
These grades are all-time highs, the EDPNC says.
“The pandemic forced companies to take a thorough look at their supplier network and business forecasts,” Smith said in the annual report. “As companies reassessed, uncertainty gave way to confidence for many.”
And according to the report, the state’s active pipeline of projects at the end of 2021 represented “the highest in potential capital investment ever.”
EDPNC’s data showed that by the end of 2021, there were 191 potential projects that could create more than 72,000 jobs with nearly $ 39.3 billion in potential capital investment.
How much does North Carolina cost to land the VinFast car factory? What is the yield?
Behind the numbers
Of the 174 projects announced, 124 of them were in manufacturing or assembly, by far the largest industry category. There were 13 warehouse or distribution projects, 12 service or sales projects, 11 head offices and 14 other projects announced according to the report.
But it was four mega-projects that really fueled the record-breaking capital investment figures from the 2021 calendar year, according to EDPNC. These mega projects were:
Then there are other project gains highlighted in the EDPNC annual report, including the $ 553.5 million Amgen project in Holly Springs, the $ 139 million project from Kroger Co. in Cabarrus County, a $ 100 million project from Amazon in Johnston County, a $ 213 million project. from Abzena in Lee County, the $ 154 million project from Thermo Fisher Scientific in Pitt County and the $ 114.6 million project from Invitae Corp. in Wake County.
“Our banner year is a testament to the fundamental benefits of North Carolina as a place to do business despite a global pandemic,” Smith said. “An employer’s decision to find and grow here is a validation of our state’s workforce and business environment as one of the best in the country. Businesses know that North Carolina is a place where they can thrive.”