This year, Governor Roy Cooper announced 14,114 new jobs in North Carolina, representing 134 business recruitment, expansion, or rural development projects that engaged with the North Carolina Department of Commerce or its team at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. These projects will bring $12.9 billion of capital investment into the state, led by companies engaged in clean energy industries that are transforming the state’s economy.
“North Carolina has seen historic economic growth and development in the last few years including our rural areas thanks to our great workforce and major investments from companies across the globe,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolina continues to be the best place to locate and grow a business and we’ll keep working to bring good-paying jobs to every corner of our state."
In July, for the second year in a row, CNBC named North Carolina as America’s Top State for Business. The 2023 performance adds to the record-breaking momentum of the last three years, with more than 67,000 jobs and $42.3 billion of capital investment announced since 2020. The fast-growing clean energy economy represents a significant part of the state’s recent economic development track record, with major projects from Toyota, Vinfast, Wolfspeed, Energizer, Kempower, and Epsilon Advanced Materials.
Clean energy industries include those engaged in energy efficiency or producing products that reduce or eliminate harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The electric vehicle supply chain in particular is experiencing rapid market growth. Since Governor Cooper took office in 2017, the state has announced more than 17,500 clean energy sector jobs, representing projects bringing more than $22.1 billion of capital investment to North Carolina.
Top projects for 2023, as ranked by job creation totals, include:
Toyota’s decision to expand its job creation and investment targets for its Randolph County electric vehicle battery manufacturing factory. The company will create an additional 3,000 jobs and invest an additional $8 billion in the project, bringing its totals to 5,100 new jobs with a capital investment of $13.9 billion.
Kempower’s decision to locate a manufacturing facility in Durham County to build charging stations for electric vehicles, investing $41 million and creating 601 jobs;
Epsilon Advanced Materials’ choice of Brunswick County for its first manufacturing site in the United States to produce synthetic graphite for use in batteries, creating 500 jobs with a $649.9 million investment;
Siemens Mobility’s selection of Davidson County for its East Coast facility to manufacture passenger rail cars, creating 500 jobs with a $220 million investment.
“North Carolina once again sets the pace for excellence,” said Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our success comes in no small part from the hard work of many local, regional, and state leaders, Chris Chung and his team at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and economic developers across the state. With our relentless focus on building and maintaining the nation’s top workforce, I know our state will continue to provide a brighter future for all North Carolinians.”
A majority of the year’s economic development projects located or expanded in the state’s more rural or economically distressed areas, with 78 percent of projects choosing either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, as delineated by North Carolina’s economic development tier system.
Significant projects in the state’s Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties include:
Siemens Mobility’s project in Davidson County, referenced above;
Dai Nippon Printing Company’s selection of Davidson County for a new biomanufacturing facility serving the EV battery market, creating 352 new jobs and bringing $233 million in capital investment to the Town of Linwood;
ProKidney’s choice of Guilford County for a new manufacturing facility and its selection of Forsyth County for an expansion of its corporate headquarters, together creating 380 jobs with a capital investment of $505.7 million;
Honda Aircraft’s decision to expand in Guilford County in order to build a larger version of its HondaJet, creating 280 jobs with $55.7 million in capital investment;
Energizer’s decision to expand its battery production facility in Randolph County, creating 178 jobs and investing $43 million in Asheboro.
Provalus’ selection of Columbus County for a 92-job project that will help the company better service the information technology needs of its Fortune 1000 client base;
UPS’s selection of Onslow County for a distribution facility to serve the southeast part of the state, creating 98 jobs and investing $12.3 million in the Town of Holly Ridge.
Rural development grants managed by Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division provided support for projects involving 1,753 new jobs and private sector investment of $423.7 million. A total of $21.3 million in rural grant monies was awarded by the state’s Rural Infrastructure Authority during its meetings in February, April, June, August, October, and December.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce serves as the state’s lead agency for community, workforce, and economic development. A searchable directory of all of the programs and services offered by the department is available at commerce.nc.gov/directory.