Raleigh, N.C.

Governor Roy Cooper announced 24,224 new jobs in North Carolina last year, representing 185 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 N.C. in 2021.  These projects will bring $10.1 billion of capital investment into the state, marking new all-time highs for economic development performance.

“With our talented workforce, great quality of life and welcoming communities, employers know North Carolina is a place their businesses can grow and thrive,” said Governor Roy Cooper. "We're building a stronger economy that works for everyone and we’re going to continue to bring jobs to every corner of our state.”

Top projects for 2021, as ranked by job creation totals, include:

  • Apple’s selection of Wake County and the Research Triangle for a major research and development campus that will create 3,000 jobs;
  • Toyota’s decision to build its first North American plant to produce batteries for electric vehicles at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, creating 1,750 jobs;
  • FUJIFILM Diosynth’s choice of Holly Springs for the largest end-to-end biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in North America, creating 725 jobs in Wake County.

“North Carolina’s record-setting performance comes in no small part from the hard work of many local and regional community leaders, along with the economic developers across the state that support the site selection process,” said Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders.  “Chris Chung and the team at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina also fast track positive outcomes for us.  Companies often mention our state’s collaborative approach, which gives us an edge as we compete for projects on the world stage.”

A majority of the year’s economic development projects located or expanded in the state’s more rural or economically distressed areas, with 71 percent of projects choosing either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, as delineated by North Carolina’s economic development tier system. 53 percent of the projects involved companies that chose to expand an existing operation in the state.

In addition to Toyota’s project in Randolph County, other significant projects in the state’s Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties include:

  • White Water Marine Group’s acquisition of Hatteras Yachts and selection of Craven County for its first coastal manufacturing site.  The company is part of Bass Pro Shops and will support 500 jobs in New Bern;
  • MasterBrand Cabinets’ expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Lenoir County, creating at least 464 new jobs in Kinston;
  • Abzena Holdings’ choice of Lee County for a significant biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant, creating 325 jobs in Sanford;
  • Polywood’s decision to expand its outdoor furniture manufacturing facility in Person County, creating 300 jobs in Roxboro;
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific’s decision to expand current operations in Pitt County, creating 290 jobs in Greenville;
  • Champion Home Builders’ selection of Robeson County for a production site, creating at least 225 jobs in Pembroke;
  • Glen Raven’s decision to expand operations in Warren County, creating 205 jobs in Norlina.

Additional jobs were created in conjunction with rural development grants managed by Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.  A total of 3,235 new jobs were supported by $28.4 million in rural grant monies awarded by the state’s Rural Infrastructure Authority during its meetings in February, April, June, August, October, and December.  These public grants in turn attracted $1.22 billion in private-sector investment capital in support of job creation and improved infrastructure capacity for rural North Carolina.

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 nccommerce.com/directory.

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