Alliance News July 29, 2020

NC JDIG Extension

The Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) is North Carolina’s marquee economic development incentive tool.  The JDIG program has been a highly effective incentive for North Carolina, which is why the legislature extended the life of the program until 2030.  This extension shows the strong commitment North Carolina has for attracting more investment to the state. 

North Carolina had no formal economic development incentive program until 1996.  In 1996, the legislature created what is now referred to as the One North Carolina Fund.  However, after a few high-profile losses, including one to Alabama, the state created the JDIG program.  The program formally launched in 2003 with the goal landing more companies and spurring economic development across North Carolina.  In fact, the Charlotte Region has a long list of major wins over the life of the program.  Our region has seen companies like Honeywell, Corning, Sonic Automotive, Carvana, MetLife, LendingTree, and our most recent win, Centene, benefit from this program. 

The North Carolina Legislature has prioritized maintaining and updating the program to ensure the state is competitive for investment.  In recent years, the JDIG program has evolved substantially, and done so, for the positive.  The first big shift occurred in 2017 when the state created a special designation within the JDIG program called Transformative Project.  This subset of the program has allowed North Carolina to strongly compete with peer markets on large scale projects.  The first utilization of the transformative project was with Fortune 50 company, Centene, establishing their east coast headquarters in Charlotte. 

The North Carolina Legislature further refined the JDIG program in 2018.  There were two major changes to the program.  The first change was relative to the cap on how much the state is willing to appropriate each year for the program.  The state had been setting aside $20 million on an annual basis.  However, with the change, the state is setting aside $35 million per year for the program.  Late in 2018, with a Fortune 100 company looking at the Charlotte Region, the legislature altered the per job cap.  This slight alteration put North Carolina over the top, and the company that moved their headquarters was Honeywell. 

The JDIG program has shown to be an effective program for the state of North Carolina.  It has helped land hundreds of thousands of jobs across North Carolina with billions of dollars in new investment to the state. The state has shown repeatedly they will do what it takes, to seal the deal, even if it means changing the law.  This public-private partnership model has served North Carolina and the Charlotte Region well.

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