Glassware manufacturer Corning plans to add 428 jobs to its North Carolina workforce, including 317 in Durham County over a three-year period.
The jobs were announced Wednesday after the state authorized its $6 million share of $16 million in public and private incentives for the company.
Corning plans to use the money in two projects: expanding a manufacturing site in Durham County to handle a new type of pharmaceutical packaging material called Valor glass, and creating what it’s calling a “state-of the-art” warehouse facility in Edgecombe County.
Corning says it will invest $189 million in the Durham project.
The company plans to add 111 jobs in Edgecombe County over two years beginning in 2019. The project there would expand Corning’s distribution capability. Corning says it will invest $86 million in the warehouse.
Corning will add a variety of jobs at each location. Salaries will vary by position and location, but the average annual wage at the Durham County facility will be $65,999 and it will be $33,771 in Edgecombe County, in line with average wages in each location.
The state Economic Development Commission authorized most of the state’s share from Job Development Investment Grants. Two other state grant programs tied to community colleges and biotechnology also contributed to the financial incentives.
Both grants pay out over 12 years, with the Durham County project eligible for reimbursement up to $3.2 million, and the Edgecombe County site for up to $1.2 million. According to the governor’s office, the Corning projects will add an estimated $1.16 billion to the state’s economy.
Corning currently has around 300 employees at its Treyburn Corporate Park facility in Durham County.
Durham’s project is contingent on receiving $2 million from Durham County. Duke Energy has agreed to chip in $2 million.
County commissioners will have to approve the deal. A public hearing will likely come in January on the incentives. Ted Conner, vice president of Economic Development at the Durham Chamber, said he thinks the incentives have a good chance of being approved.
If approved, 85 percent of the jobs would be manufacturing jobs in Durham. Workers would be trained at Durham Technical Community College.
“These are the types of jobs that our commissioners are trying to bring to our community,” Conner said, noting that most of the jobs won’t require a college degree. “They are very focused on bringing jobs to all of our residents.”
He called it a great example of a project that can help with the urban-rural gap because Corning is looking at both an urban county and a rural county, he added.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced the grants during an appearance at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro, shortly after the Economic Investment Committee met.
“Corning knows first-hand that our state’s talented workforce and ideal location provide clear advantages for a growing company,” Cooper said in a statement. “This decision to bring new jobs to both Eastern North Carolina and the Triangle demonstrates confidence in workers in both the rural and urban parts of our state to produce and distribute this groundbreaking new product.”
State incentive payments require companies to meet specific job creation and investment targets in order to receive the money over a period of time. The commerce department says JDIG projects add to tax revenue even after accounting for incentives.
Corning has been awarded previous JDIG funding for fiber optics manufacturing and, in 2015, for a headquarters for a limited liability company. The company has evolved from a glass and ceramics maker to manufacturing electronics components and health products for the pharmaceutical industry. It has 70 plants in 13 countries.
South Carolina offered $47.4 million in incentives for the Durham project and $31.6 million for Edgecombe, according to the state Department of Commerce.