Job Development Grants Drive Investment In North Carolina

Incentives provided by the state's Economic Investment Committee lead to upwards of $150 million in investment in manufacturing, software industries.

Corning Incorporated, one of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, will invest $150 million to expand operations in Catawba County, NC, creating 200 jobs. The expansion will allow the company to meet increased demand in the optical communications industry, with the new facility serving to bolster Corning’s manufacturing capabilities in North Carolina.

“With this capacity expansion, Corning is addressing demand from leading network operators — in particular AT&T, which previously announced plans to significantly expand its fiber footprint,” said Michael A. Bell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Corning Optical Communications. “We believe the industry is in the early stages of a major growth cycle, and we’re turning once again to the highly skilled local workforce in Catawba County to help us meet the demand. We deeply appreciate the support of local and state officials.”

Corning’s Optical Communications business currently operates cable facilities in Hickory, Newton and Winston-Salem, and optical fiber facilities in Wilmington and Concord. Its Optical Communications headquarters is in Charlotte.

North Carolina
Photo: Corning Incorporated

Corning’s announcement comes as the state celebrates North Carolina Manufacturing Week. North Carolina’s manufacturing sector employs more than 452,000 North Carolinians, representing 12.5 percent of the state’s workforce. The state is home to the largest manufacturing workforce in the southeastern United States.

“As we celebrate Manufacturing Week in our state, it’s exciting to see a global manufacturer like Corning expand yet again in a great rural county like Catawba,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Corning understands North Carolina’s strengths as a business location, thanks to their firsthand experience with our skilled workforce, customized training programs and great quality of life.”

“Corning is one of North Carolina’s flagship manufacturers, helping us maintain our number one standing for manufacturing in the Southeast,” said State Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our state’s commitment to education and workforce training remains fundamental to our ability to supply the skilled, diverse workers companies look for in a business location.”

Corning’s project will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $2,041,200, spread over 12 years.

State payments only occur following verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Corning’s JDIG agreement could also move as much as $226,800 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future. When companies select a site located in a Tier 2 county such as Catawba, their grant agreements move some of the new tax revenue into the state’s Industrial Development Fund Utility Account. Local communities in more economically challenged areas of the state use grants from this fund to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract companies to their regions.

Software Company To Add 104 Jobs In Hanover County

Vantaca, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, will invest more than $4.9 million to expand its operations in Wilmington, NC. The expansion will add 104 new jobs in New Hanover County, creating a potential annual payroll impact of more than $8.3 million.

“This expansion allows us to continue to innovate our unique solution enabling our customers to transform their business digitally and more efficiently run their day-to-day operations,” said Ben Currin, CEO of Vantaca. “Quality of life and work-life balance is incredibly important to our team, and in that respect, we have found Wilmington to be an ideal home.”

Headquartered in Wilmington, Vantaca provides SaaS through its cloud-based platform for homeowner associations and community management organizations. The company’s system automates workflows and accounting functions to offer an integrated solution that streamlines communications and user activity while facilitating financial operations in real-time.

“North Carolina is one of the fastest growing technology hubs in the nation,” said Gov. Cooper. “When combined with our reputation for financial technology, a talented workforce and premier quality of life, it’s great news that Vantaca is expanding right here in its hometown of Wilmington.”

“North Carolina’s fintech industry has seen steady growth from the mountains to the coast,” said Secretary Sanders. “Startups and entrepreneurs, like Vantaca, are the heart and soul of North Carolina’s innovation economy. To maintain our rank at the forefront of innovation, North Carolina remains committed to developing the very best talent for the burgeoning fintech industry.”

This expansion by Vantaca will be facilitated in part by a JDIG. Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, economists in the Department of Commerce estimate the project will grow the state’s economy by more than $204 million. The JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,418,400 spread over 12 years.

Because Vantaca is expanding in New Hanover County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $157,600 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund Utility Account.

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