Group of people sitting at a table at Congdon Yards.

Triad, Carolina Core projects help lift NC to another top business climate ranking


01/05/2023   |   Richard Craver

A trio of major economic-development projects in the Triad and Carolina Core lifted North Carolina to another No. 1 economic designation from a media outlet, this time the 2022 State of the Year from Business Facilities magazine.

The state also was selected as Business Facilities’ top ranking in 2020.

The Carolina Core encompasses a region of central N.C. stretching from Surry to Cumberland counties.

“A succinct regional economic-development strategy in recent years has propelled North Carolina, and 2022 was another banner year for the state in capital investment and jobs creation,” Anne Cosgrove, the magazine’s editorial director, said in a statement.

“Paired with a world-class education and R&D resources, the support of incentives and programs from organizations at all levels for a variety of industries, including high-growth sectors, such as electric vehicles, made the state our choice for top recognition this year.”

The magazine cited as examples the Boom Supersonic project at Piedmont Triad International Airport, the electric vehicle VinFast plant near Sanford and the Wolfspeed Inc. semiconductor manufacturing plant in Siler City.

Boom has pledged to create at least 1,761 jobs by 2030 at a $500 million “super-factory.” The 400,000-square-foot manufacturing, assembly, testing and distribution facility will be built on a 65-acre campus.

The manufacturer projected that it will roll out its first Overture supersonic airplane in 2026, conduct test flights in 2026 and carry passengers by 2029.

VinFast has commenced development of a $4 billion production campus within a 1,977-acre megasite. The Vietnamese manufacturer plans to begin production in the second half of 2024 with an annual production level of 150,000 vehicles.

Wolfspeed, a Durham-based manufacturer of semiconductor chips formerly known as Cree, said it would create more than 1,800 jobs at the Siler City near Asheboro, as well as spend $5 billion on capital investments over eight years.

Wolfspeed plans to produce silicon carbide materials at the campus. The technology is used in a variety of applications, including electric vehicles, 5G networks, and renewable energy and storage.

The magazine also noted Eli Lilly and Co.’s plans to build a new manufacturing site in Concord, investing $1 billion and creating 600 jobs.

“We have a world-class education system, a highly skilled workforce, a strong commitment to clean energy and sustainability, the most competitive tax environment in the country, and a demonstrated bipartisan approach to economic development policy,” Christopher Chung, chief executive of Economic Development Partnership of N.C., said in a statement.

“We currently have 235 active projects, with a total of $111.8 billion in capital investment, and 100,112 total possible jobs in our pipeline.

“2022 was another year of record performance, and we are confident North Carolina will continue that momentum into 2023,” Chung said.

In June, CNBC cited a bipartisan collaborative effort between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders in naming North Carolina as its top state for the first time in its annual business-climate rankings.

The recent ability of North Carolina’s top elected officials to find bipartisan common ground on economic recruitment efforts hasn’t gone unnoticed.

CNBC cited that collaborative effort Wednesday in naming North Carolina as its top state for the first time in the annual business-climate rankings.

“By putting partisanship aside, North Carolina ranks No. 1 in America’s Top States for Business (for 2022) with the nation’s strongest economy,” CNBC said in its headline presentation.

Cooper said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” show that “I’ve had both Republican and Democratic leaders of both the House and the Senate on each side of me as we make a presentation to the company that this is where you need to be, you’re gonna get predictability, reliability, consistency.”

“Businesses look for that and they also look at what happens after the deal is done. Some of our best recruiters are CEOs who are already here.

Another recent example is Site Selection magazine selecting N.C. as having the nation’s top business climate for 2021.

As expected, Charlotte and the Triangle were the main economic engines driving North Carolina’s emergence with the top business climate.

Site Selection cited “the blend of location ingredients required by capital investors in key industry sectors” as major factors for North Carolina’s first-place recognition.

Those include advantages in supply-chain logistics, lower cost of doing business, the 2.5% corporate tax rate, fewer regulations, economic incentives and workforce-training programs.

Other high-profile listings include: 2020 State of the Year by Business Facilities magazine; sixth for business climate by 24-7/Wall Street; sixth for 2020 by Chief Executive magazine; and 10th for tax climate in 2020 by The Tax Foundation.

Source: Richard Craver -  Read More