County nets 111 new jobs

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Gov. Roy Cooper, center, chats with Tom Betts, right, and Henrietta Zalkind on Wednesday following the Corning, Inc. global distribution center announcement at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro.


Staff Writer

Thursday, December 14, 2017

TARBORO — Officials recently touted 111 new jobs coming to Edgecombe County.

New York-based Corning, Inc., a world leading innovator in materials science that has brought health products to the pharmaceutical market for more than 100 years, will be investing $86 million in the county to build a state-of-the-art global distribution center.

Gov. Roy Cooper said during a recent announcement at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro that Corning also plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Durham. The company plans to bring a total of 428 jobs and $275 million in investments over three years to North Carolina.

The jobs will provide future support for the company’s new pharmaceutical glass packaging product, Valor Glass, and potential growth from other Corning businesses in North Carolina and elsewhere. The average wage in Edgecombe County at the new location will be $33,771, Cooper said. 

N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland said successful economic development strategies for the state’s rural areas must involve creative approaches that led to Wednesday’s announcement.

“Corning knows first-hand that our state’s talented work force and ideal location provide clear advantages for a growing company,” Cooper said. “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.”

Norris Tolson, CEO and president of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership, said the project could bring up to 150 new jobs in Edgecombe County. The new warehouse facility will be located between Rocky Mount and Tarboro at the intersection of Dunbar Road and U.S. 64 Alt near Midlake Mobile Home Park. 

“Anytime you can announce a project that will produce almost 150 jobs, it’s a big deal,” Tolson said. “We’ve worked hard to bring jobs to Edgecombe County through good manifestation effort. Corning is a prestigious international company, and for them to select Edgecombe County is a really big deal.”

Eric Musser, executive vice president of Corning, said the expectation is for the distribution center to be built and fully operational by the second half of 2019. Musser said the warehouse facility will support the company’s life science vessel business. 

Corning, which has more than 4,000 employees at facilities across North Carolina, did a extensive site search throughout the Southeast before deciding on Edgecombe County, Musser said. Edgecombe County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state.

“The site itself had to be suitable for the business purpose we were looking for, but what also appealed to us about Edgecombe County is the availability of a highly skilled work force,” he said. “We believe with confidence we can develop and attract the talent that we need to operate. We’re also happy with the infrastructure that’s available, the support of the business environment and the overall very good quality of living. When we put that all together, it really made for a compelling case in Edgecombe County.”

Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans said the number of jobs to be created and the amount of investment to be made will be a great shot in the arm for Edgecombe County and the region.

“This company's decision to choose our county from the many places it could have chosen, will in turn boost the confidence of other prospects considering locating here,” Evans said. “I think this announcement will lead to other prospects considering locating here.”

Officials said Corning’s projects in Edgecombe and Durham counties will be facilitated by two Job Development Investment Grants approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee.