Bronze Award: 2020 Economic Development Deal Of The Year

Centene is bringing its $1B East Coast headquarters to the University City neighborhood in Charlotte, NC, creating more than 1 million square feet of new office space.


Project Title: Centene East Coast Headquarters
Entered By: City of Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

Centene’s East Coast Headquarters, our 2020 DOTY Bronze Award winner, is a transformational project for the Charlotte, NC region. The Fortune 50 company is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives through the management of healthcare plans to more than 23 million members. The new Centene HQ and technology hub is expected to bring 3,237 new jobs to the Charlotte region, with an overall investment of more than $1 billion by 2032. This is the largest job-creation project in the 18-year history of North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.

Centene 202 Deal of the Year
Centene’s East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, NC. (Photo: Centene Corp)

“Centene’s investment here is great for the Charlotte area and our whole state. Centene knows that North Carolina has a resilient economy, ready workforce, livable communities and a host of other assets that make our state a leading destination for forward-thinking businesses,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at the project announcement.

The Centene project will create more than 1 million square feet of new office space on a state-of-the-art campus in the University City neighborhood of Charlotte. It is estimated that the East Coast HQ will bring more than $2 billion in positive economic growth over the next 12 years to the Charlotte Region.

Centene’s new positions will offer salaries that average $100,089 annually, creating a regional payroll impact of nearly $324 million per year. Mecklenburg County’s overall average annual wage is currently $68,070. Of the direct jobs created for this project, most fall in the technology and operations categories. Operations roles range from entry level to supervisor and focus on the customer experience. Technology jobs account for 1,094 jobs at an average salary of $123,000. Operations roles are 1,074 jobs at an average salary of $63,000.


The Centene project represents forward economic momentum for three of the Charlotte Region’s growing sectors: insurance, health care and technology.

Health Care insurance companies have added more than 3,000 jobs in the region since 2010, and with the growth of cloud, data and analytics capabilities, all industries are scaling up their tech talent. With a strong base of information security professionals, Charlotte is primed to grow in this space. More than 40 health tech startups call the region home. These companies are incorporating technology into daily hospital management, online patient consultation and software design across the health care industry.

The Centene announcement came at the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic, when unemployment levels were high across the region and state. The jobs that Centene will bring to Charlotte represent new employment opportunities for residents across the region who have been significantly and negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, Centene is an active community partner and corporate philanthropic citizen. The company is committed to improving the health outcomes of residents by supporting local programs that target affordable housing and access to health services.

  • Direct economic impact estimated at $1.4 billion over the next 12 years.
  • Direct new wages of $327 million over the next 12 years.
  • The largest job-creation project in the 18-year history of the JDIG program.

Click here to read about this year’s Honorable Mention Award winners!