Technology/R&D

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NC: Corning Optical Communications to Invest $38M, Build New HQ, Hire 150

9 Dec, 2015


Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced Corning Optical Communications, LLC will create 150 new jobs in Mecklenburg County as part of a new corporate headquarters. Optical Communications, a world-leading provider of fiber optic solutions, plans to invest $38.7 million by the end of 2018.

“Corning is a global leader whose name has been prominent in North Carolina’s business community for many years,” said Governor McCrory. “Today’s announcement builds on the solid foundation this innovative company has in our state, and I am proud we emerged as the top choice for this important headquarters and the new jobs that come with it.”

One of five business segments of Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW), Corning Optical Communications has more than 30 locations and 17,000 employees worldwide. The business employs more than 3,000 people across five locations in North Carolina, including two of the world’s largest optical fiber manufacturing facilities in Concord and Wilmington, and two of the world’s largest optical fiber cable manufacturing facilities in Hickory and Winston-Salem.

Corning scientists invented the first low-loss optical fiber in 1970. Today, Corning Optical Communications’ portfolio of end-to-end fiber solutions enable nearly every wired and wireless connectivity need, connecting businesses, homes and people around the globe.

“Corning is a company that makes things that are ingrained in how we live and work, and their choice of North Carolina for continued job growth says all the right things about the quality of our people and our business climate,” said Secretary Skvarla. “Corning is an integral part of North Carolina and we worked to keep it that way. This decision also positions the company to readily expand its operations in its other four locations in the state.”

The new positions at Corning Optical Communications will average more than $80,000. Mecklenburg County’s average annual wage is $59,882.

“Corning's plan to locate the global headquarters for our Optical Communications business in Mecklenburg County builds on our over 40-year relationship with North Carolina,” said Clark Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “This decision is further evidence of our confidence in our growing $2.7 billion business, and that North Carolina is a world-class location for a technology company.”

Corning Optical Communication’s expansion in Mecklenburg County will be facilitated in part by an award to the company from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program that was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee today. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive up to $2.35 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by NC Commerce and NC Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets.

JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall revenue benefit to the State of North Carolina. Corning Optical Communication’s JDIG is contingent upon county or municipal government offers of local incentives.

By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Tier 3 counties such as Mecklenburg, 25 percent of the award amount is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in less populated Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. Corning Optical Communications’ expansion could provide as much as $784,000 in new funds for the Utility Account. More information on county tier designations is available at http://www.nccommerce.com/Portals/0/Incentives/CountyTier/2015%20Development%20Tier%20Rankings.pdf.

Since Governor McCrory took office in January of 2013, North Carolina has witnessed the net creation of nearly 240,000 private sector jobs.

Joining NC Commerce and EDPNC in helping facilitate Corning Optical Communications’ expansion is the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte Regional Partnership, and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

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