Another day, another announcement about new jobs in North Carolina. Despite the down economy, there has been a flurry of economic development projects unveiled in recent months.
Today's installment: Swedish appliance maker Electrolux picked Charlotte for its new North American headquarters. The company plans to create 738 jobs over the next five years.
Electrolux will receive state and local tax breaks and incentives worth as much as $27 million if it meets its hiring and investment targets.
The company already employs about 650 people in North Carolina, mostly at a dishwasher manufacturing plant in Kinston. Electrolux is consolidating corporate offices from around the country into the new Charlotte headquarters.
One minor complaint from job seekers and economic boosters in the Triangle: It's another example of a corporation choosing Charlotte for its headquarters. Kevin Scott, chief executive of Electrolux North America, said he was impressed with the area's transportation network and the professionalism of economic development efforts by the city, county and state.
“I am convinced we have made a fantastic choice," he said.
Economic development officials in this region admit that Charlotte's airport is a selling point. Specifically, they warn that Raleigh-Durham International Airport doesn't have enough direct destinations, especially on the West Coast, to attract high-flying corporations and CEOs.
Charlotte also has seven Fortune 500 headquarters, compared to two in the Triangle (Raleigh-based Progress Energy and Cary-based The Pantry). Maybe there's something about CEOs wanting to drink beer and play golf with other CEOs?
Not that the Triangle is missing out on every new headquarters. On Monday, Louisiana risk-management consulting firm IEM said it will move its headquarters to Research Triangle Park and create 430 jobs.
But it does seem this region attracts more back-office projects, such as EMC's new data center and a technology operation Deutsche Bank opened this week in Cary.
Regional allegiances aside, the announcements are bright spots in a state where the jobless rate is 11 percent, above the national average.