North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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30 North Carolina Economic Development Guide "When complete, we will have more than 1,200 employees from our business units, functions and R&D teams housed in three state-of-the-art buildings in Charlotte." Half the employees will be new hires, and the others will be transfers. The move is expected to be complete by 2017. A year after announcing the headquarters move, Peribere wasn't looking back. "We have been pleased with how welcoming the city has been, how quickly our employees who moved have adjusted to their new home and the local talent we have been able to attract for open positions." Sealed Air isn't the only company moving key executives to Charlotte. Austin, Texas-based Dimensional Fund Advisors, a global company overseeing almost $400 billion, unveiled plans for an East Coast headquarters in July 2015. It will bring 316 jobs and invest $105 million in the Queen City. Average annual pay for the jobs is more than $147,000, double Mecklenburg County's average annual wage. One month later, Baton Rouge, La.-based Albemarle Corp., which develops, manufactures and markets specialty chemicals, announced its headquarters was moving to Charlotte this year. Albemarle will invest $12.9 million and bring 120 jobs. They'll join six Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Charlotte region, including Bank of America Corp., and six more across North Carolina. Regardless of industry, Charlotte draws headquarters for many reasons. "The fi rst thing is labor," says Kati Hynes, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development. "They're looking for the ability to attract and retain talent." The U.S. Census Bureau says Charlotte's population grew 10% to about 810,000 from July 1, 2004, to July 1, 2014, when nearly 40% of residents had a bachelor's degree. In nearly every instance, executives exploring a move want to hear peer companies already there describe their experiences, particularly what their human-resource managers have to say. "They talk about the whole breadth of their experiences in Charlotte, but primarily they want to know about talent." That's what happened in 2012, when MetLife Inc. executives, cloaked in anonymity, met with peers in North Carolina. Their fi ndings convinced the New York-based insurer to move 2,600 jobs and invest $125.5 million in North Carolina, placing its U.S. retail business in Charlotte, taking advantage of its fi nancial sector, and its Global Technology and Operations Gov. Pat McCrory, second from right, helped CEO Jerome Peribere, third from right, and others break ground for Sealed Air Corp.'s three-building campus. The $58 million relocation is the largest by a Fortune 500 company in Charlotte's history. Photo courtesy of Sealed Air Corp.

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