Celgard, a Charlotte company that's become a darling of politicians for its green technology work and job creation, will get a little more love on Monday morning.
Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to announce that Celgard will receive another financial-assistance package in exchange for the promise of adding more jobs. Perdue is scheduled to make a jobs announcement at 10 a.m. in Concord, where Celgard is opening a facility to make membranes used in lithium-ion batteries.
U.S Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and other officials are expected to join Perdue at the facility's dedication ceremony.
N.C. Commerce Department officials will meet in Raleigh shortly before that on Monday morning to approve an incentives package. It's unclear how much money is involved or how many jobs are planned.
Celgard, a division of the Charlotte-based Polypore International, makes membrane separators that improve and extend the life of batteries used in electric cars, laptop computers and other products.
In January 2010, Celgard announced it would open the Concord manufacturing facility and expand its Charlotte operations. Its plans called for adding 289 jobs in exchange for state incentives worth as much as $5.56 million over 11 years. The Concord factory is about 150 miles west of Raleigh, just north of Charlotte.
The company also received a $49 million federal stimulus grant last year. And President Barack Obama used his visit to Celgard in April 2010 to emphasize the need to encourage more clean-tech jobs. Some competitors and other critics have questioned whether Celgard and its parent Polypore deserve so much attention and financial aid at the expense of rivals, the Washington Post reported last month.
Still, given Obama's focus on green jobs and the importance of North Carolina in his 2012 reelection efforts, don't be surprised if he pays Celgard a repeat visit in the next year.
He's already made multiple stops at Cree, a Durham green energy company that's also the recipient of government grants and tax breaks worth millions of dollars as it adds hundreds of local jobs. Obama toured the LED lighting company in June and met with his jobs-creation council.