RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – Buoyed by projects such as the Toyota EV Battery Plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite and the Boom Supersonic factory at Piedmont Triad International Airport, North Carolina continues to be praised as the best state for companies to locate in the nation.
That’s not just a note from the Chamber of Commerce or a statement by political leaders but the evaluation of “Site Selection” magazine, which for the third consecutive year has ranked NC as No. 1.
“Site Selection” calls it the Prosperity Cup, and its evaluators mentioned those two prime projects in the Piedmont Triad along with the VinFast facility to manufacture electric sports-utility vehicles and the expansion of Wolfspeed Microchip, both in Chatham County, as principal reasons merited the recognition.
Following NC in the top 10 were Georgia (which was tied for fourth last year), Ohio (up from third), Indiana (which had tied Georgia), Texas (down from second), South Carolina (eighth), Tennessee (third) and Michigan (ninth).
“Site Selection” lists as its criteria:
- Total new and expanded facilities in 2022.
- Total new and expanded facilities per 1 million population.
- Total capital investment in new and expanded facilities in 2022
- Total capital investment per 1 million population.
- Total new jobs created in 2022.
- Total new jobs per 1 million population.
- Rank in the corporate real estate executive portion of the 2022 Site Selection Business Climate Ranking.
- State tax climate as ranked by the Tax Foundation.
- Performance in the 2022 Legatum Institute Prosperity Index.
- Number of National Career Readiness Certificates per 1,000 residents aged 18-64, according to ACT — Workforce Development Division.
Although Toyota announced its first phase in December of 2021, Boom (1,761 new jobs) emerged in January 2022, and VinFast (7,500) followed in March and Wolfspeed (1,800) in September. Macy’s also will add 2,800 jobs for an automated fulfillment center in China Grove.
The NC Department of Commerce reported that 28,690 new jobs were added in 2022 and that those jobs reflect $19.3 billion in capital investment.
And, for the record, the General Assembly last year budgeted additional incentive dollars for Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina, which announced it would invest another $2.5 billion for Phase II of its manufacturing facility and would increase its planned workforce to 2,100.
That brought the total investment by Toyota in North Carolina to $5.6 billion, which ranks among the largest in the state, now surpassing the $4 billion being invested by VinFast.
“North Carolina continues to be the best place in America to do business thanks to our first-class workforce and excellent quality of life,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a release about the ranking by “Site Section.” “With strong infrastructure and education investments along with our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, we can continue to lead the country in attracting the most dynamic and innovative businesses in the world, creating good-paying jobs and livable communities.”
Last July North Carolina was ranked No. 1 in America’s Top States for Business as evaluated by CNBC, which bases that 88 metrics of economic competitiveness.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) long have touted the steps the legislature has taken to hold down corporate tax rates as a key to developing the state’s business reputation.
“When Republicans won control of the General Assembly over a decade ago, we put North Carolina on a direct path toward becoming the best state in the country for business,” Berger said in a statement released following the CNBC ranking. “From reforming our tax policy to creating some of the best incentives in the nation, North Carolina is a magnet for business creation and expansion.”
That growth is continuing in 2023, including in the Piedmont Triad.
Boom Supersonic, in the formal lease of 62 acres at PTI it signed earlier this year, has an option that expires on Dec. 31, 2030, for an additional airport expansion site, a concept the PTIA board had approved last summer.
And just last month Marshall Aerospace, a British military contractor, announced a two-phased project to add about 250 more jobs at PTI.
“We have continued to leverage our strengths,” Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said in the release. “The Department of Commerce is a multiplier for our local and regional economic development agencies. We have continued to invest in and underscore the importance of our number one asset, which is our talent. … That has kept us competitive.”