Apple to bring 3,000 jobs to Wake County, build RTP campus, invest more than $1 billion in NC

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FILE – In this Saturday, March 14, 2020 file photo, an Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store in New York. The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority watchdog announced Thursday March 4, 2021, it has launched an investigation into Apple’s App Store over concerns it has a dominant role that stifles competition and hurts consumers. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Apple announced Monday it will bring at least 3,000 jobs to Wake County as part of a plan to invest more than $1 billion in North Carolina.

The company plans to build a new campus and engineering hub in Research Triangle Park, employing people to work in a variety of roles including machine learning, artificial intelligence and software engineering, among others.

Hiring is expected to begin right away, as the company anticipates leasing space in the area while it designs and builds the new facilities. The campus will be more than 1,000,000 square feet and run entirely on renewable energy, according to Apple.

The minimum average wage for the positions will be $187,001, according to the NC Department of Commerce.

Apple’s leaders said the announcement is part of a $430 billion plan to add more than 20,000 jobs across the country in the next five years.

“At this moment of recovery and rebuilding, Apple is doubling down on our commitment to US innovation and manufacturing with a generational investment reaching communities across all 50 states,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement.

Sources familiar with the plan say the new positions will be for people working in person in North Carolina, with the majority of them being high-tech, high-wage jobs.

The state’s Economic Investment Committee met Monday morning to approve an agreement where the company could receive more than $845 million in tax incentives over 39 years.

Under the state’s Job Development Investment Grant program, companies can receive cash grants when they create jobs and invest in North Carolina as long as they meet certain performance targets, according to the NC Department of Commerce.

A so-called transformative project “can provide reimbursements up to 90% of the new personal income withholding for a period of up to 30 years,” according to the department. A company must create at least 3,000 jobs and invest at least $1 billion in the state, which Apple has said it will do.

As part of that agreement, at least $112 million would be contributed to infrastructure spending, such as broadband, roads, bridges and schools.

Apple also said it will create a $100 million fund to go toward school and community initiatives both in the Triangle region and throughout the state.

The company said this move is estimated to have a $1.5 billion impact on the state’s economy annually.

State commerce officials said Monday the primary competition for this project, which was known as “Project Bear,” was Ohio. However, they noted a number of other states were considered.

Apple currently employs about 1,100 people in North Carolina and opened its first store in the state in 2002 in Durham. The company would retain those jobs as part of the agreement with the state.

In 2018, CBS17 reported Apple was eyeing the Triangle for a new campus. At the end of the year, the company announced it had chosen Austin, Texas. State officials said despite the decision at the time, they were still talking to the company about a significant investment in North Carolina in the future. CBS 17 reported that Gov. Roy Cooper (D) met with Tim Cook, who graduated from Duke, when he came to the state that year to give a commencement address at the university.

The development follows a series of significant jobs announcements for the Triangle in recent weeks.

Last month, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies said it would create 725 jobs in Wake County and announced plans to invest $2 billion. More than 1,000 jobs could also come to Durham after Google announced company executives had picked the city for Google Cloud’s new engineering hub.

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