Alliance News July 29, 2020

Expansions and relocations continue, despite ongoing pandemic

Confidence in the Charlotte region’s economy remained through the second quarter, despite the ongoing pandemic. 10 of the region’s 15 counties had at least one traded-sector company announce plans for relocation or expansion. In total, 22 companies announced plans to invest $1.1 billion.

Goldenhome International, a Chinese-owned maker of cabinets, announced plans to open a facility at The Grounds at Concord industrial site in Cabarrus County, investing $86 million and adding 257 jobs. Despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, five foreign direct investment projects were announced during quarter two, including projects originating from China, Spain, The Netherlands, Israel, and Japan.

Adhesives manufacturer Dymax Corporation announced it would invest $21.5 million and hire 59 at its new Gastonia Technology Park facility. In Cleveland County, Ames Copper Group expanded its copper smelting plant, investing $26.3 million and adding 46 jobs. Other expanding companies included food manufacturer McClancy Seasoning in Lancaster County, which added 108 jobs and announced a $9.4 million investment and Ross Stores’ $68 million expansion of its York County distribution center, adding 700 jobs.

Office-sector expansions continued as well, with two insurance-related announcements in Mecklenburg County. Willis Towers Watson subsidiary Tranzact announced plans to hire more than 200 insurance agents and opening a new Steele Creek support center. Chime Solutions also expanded its insurance agent talent pool, announcing it would hire 250.

The region’s office-based sectors showed better results than national trends, especially the finance and insurance sector, the only sector to add net jobs during the quarter, driven by growth in credit intermediation. The finance and insurance sector accounts for about 15% of the regional economy.

Professional services and information jobs in the region were down around 6%, better than national losses of 10% or more, likely due to the strong concentration of headquarters in the region.

Building on the strength of the first half of 2020, the single largest job announcement in the history of NC was announced in early July. Insurance provider, Centene, will create at least 3,200 new jobs and invest more than $1 billion at a new campus near UNC Charlotte.

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