RALEIGH Corning Optical Communications announced Monday it will invest $176 million in facilities in Catawba and Cabarrus counties. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) led the state’s effort to secure the expansion that Corning said will create 410 N.C. technology and manufacturing jobs over the next two years.The state sweetened the pot for Corning in part with a Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) that will distribute more than $4 million in tax reimbursements back to Corning over 12 years. However, in the conditions of the grants Corning must first meet required job creation and investment benchmarks.As part of the project, the company will spend $67 million in a new optical cable manufacturing facility in Newton and $109 million to expand its existing optical fiber manufacturing facility in Midland.”Corning is a global leader with a longstanding commitment to North Carolina,” said Gov. Roy Cooper in a press conference announcing the expansion Monday in the Chamber of the old State Capitol Building. It was the first press conference Cooper has held making an economic expansion announcement since taking office. “Companies that continue to innovate and invest in research and development are the kinds of high-tech job creators we want working with North Carolina.”Corning Optical Communications is a $3 billion segment of Corning Incorporated and employs more than 3,000 people in five facilities across the state. According to a press release, two of the world’s largest fiber manufacturing facilities are in Midland and Wilmington, and two of the world’s largest fiber cabling facilities are in Winston-Salem and Hickory.”North Carolina is fortunate to have the skilled workforce, location, infrastructure and healthy business climate that a Fortune 500 company like Corning needs to be successful,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.COC will hire operators, distribution staff, maintenance personnel and other workers at the two sites. The average salary for new Corning jobs in Catawba County will be more than $56,000, while the average salaries in Cabarrus County will be more than $58,000. The average county wage for both locations is currently less that $40,000.”Great news,” said N.C. Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba). “The citizens of Newton and all Catawba County are thrilled to have more opportunities to work with a Fortune 500 company producing innovative products used by consumers around the world.””We are very proud of our corporate partner, Corning Optical Communications, and commend them for their decision to grow right here in Cabarrus County where we have the best business climate a company could ask for,” said N.C. Rep. Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus).According to the EDPNC and the N.C. Department of Commerce, local and state partners in landing the new jobs included the North Carolina General Assembly, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Community College System, Catawba County, Town of Newton, Cabarrus County, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation and Duke Energy.A nonprofit corporation, the EDPNC is a public-private partnership stood up in 2014 under former Gov. Pat McCrory to harness the state’s corporate and public business development resources. Governed by a 17-member board, the EDPNC works to draw new business and jobs to N.C.
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