Cree Inc. will invest $135 million to expand its Durham, NC manufacturing operations, announced Governor Bev Perdue. The LED lighting company will create 244 new local jobs over the next two years with an average annual wage of $42,726.
Cree will receive more than $4 million in state and local incentives if it meets hiring and investment goals. The incentives will help the company produce next generation LEDs, tiny light-emitting chips that are used in such products as lighting, signs and wireless devices.
This latest expansion involves a significant increase in Cree’s manufacturing footprint and led them to explore several possible locations. Chuck Swoboda, Cree’s Chairman and CEO, said that the company needed to move quickly to meet orders for light models for Chinese streetlights and other uses.
“I think incentives are a reality in making these decisions today,” Swoboda said, noting that Cree also received economic incentives at its China facilities. “They’re part of the equation. They’re not the only factor, but they are a factor.”
“Cree is proud to be expanding our operations in North Carolina,” said Swoboda, “The establishment of this next generation wafer fab capability will help us to lead the next phase of the LED lighting revolution.”