Metlife says it will create up to 2,600 jobs in NC

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RALEIGH, N.C. — America’s largest life insurer, MetLife Inc., said Thursday it plans to open a major infrastructure operation in Charlotte and Cary as part of creating up to 2,600 jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2015.

The company said it would make an overall $125.5 million investment in the projects. The News & Observer reported that each community would get about half the jobs.

MetLife said it plans to establish hubs for its U.S. Retail Business in Charlotte and for its Global Technology and Operations organization in Cary.

New positions would include product management, marketing, sales and customer support in Charlotte, and information technology positions in Cary.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said in a statement the MetLife economic-development project likely is the largest job announcement in recent state history.

In return, MetLife would be made eligible for up to $89.2 million in state performance-based incentives –– $87.2 million from the Job Development Investment Grant over 12 years and $2 million from the One North Carolina Fund, which typically is a match of local incentives.

That would equate to MetLife receiving about $34,308 in incentives for each job created.

The governor’s statement did not include a salary or payroll range for the new MetLife jobs as it typically does in economic-development announcements.

“We’re proud that a strong corporate partner like MetLife has decided to invest in North Carolina,” McCrory said, in a written statement. “These jobs will complement our financial services sector in Charlotte and our high-tech hub in Wake County, two distinct sectors we want to expand.”

The Charlotte Observer reported that MetLife has been negotiating a lease on 250,000-square-feet building in Ballantyne Corporate Park’s new 10-story Gragg Building.

“North Carolina has much to offer our employees and the company,” Eric Steigerwalt, an executive vice presi-dent for MetLife, said in the statement. “The strong sense of community in Cary and Charlotte, as well as the region’s robust infrastructure and sustainable talent pool, were all compelling reasons for coming here.”

MetLife has been looking at properties even as it tries to cut costs. Bloomberg News reported that chief executive Steven Kandarian wants to cut costs by $600 million.

The company has 90 million customers in more than 60 countries. For information about job opportunities, go to metlife.com.

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