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North Carolina spent $1.3 billion last year on econmic development

North Carolina spent more than $1.3 billion on economic development last year, according to a recently released annual report from the General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division.

The vast majority of that spending -- more than 92 percent -- came in the form of tax expenditures, including tax exemptions for goods, services and equipment.

Sales tax exemptions accounted for nearly $700 million, with the bulk of those exemptions going to sales to farmers ($244 million), purchases of mill machinery ($178 million) and packaging costs for manufacturers and retailers ($120 million).

Credit Suisse to slash 2,000 jobs worldwide

Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse plans to cut more than 2,000 jobs worldwide after reporting weaker quarterly profit.

It's not clear how much the cuts will effect workers in Research Triangle Park, where Credit Suisse employed nearly 1,100 people at a technology support center at the end of 2010. The facility also employs about 200 contractors.

Credit Suisse was lured to RTP in 2004 with the promise of incentives worth as much as $14.4 million. The company announced several expansions since then, including a plan in 2009 to add 300 more information technology workers.

This morning, the company said it will eliminate about 4 percent of its 50,700 full-time positions worldwide. The move will save more than $1.2 billion in annual costs by 2012.

Perdue expected to announce more green jobs at Celgard

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.

Lord Corp. to add 117 jobs at Cary HQ

Lord Corp. plans to expand its Cary headquarters and add 117 jobs during the next five years.

State officials this morning approved giving the company a grant worth as much as $1.3 million if it meets hiring and investment goals. Cary also will provide $50,000.

Lord Corp. CEO Rick McNeel announced expansion plans in March, and said he would seek incentives to help foot the bill. The company also considered sites in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which allowed it to qualify for North Carolina financial aid.

The new jobs will average annual salaries of $81,487. Lord Corp. already employs 329 people in Cary and more than 2,600 worldwide.

Wood maker plans to add 49 jobs in Rowan County

A company that makes wood products will receive a state grant worth up to $85,000 for expanding in Rowan County.

The governor's office announced this afternoon that Universal Forest Products plans to create 49 jobs and invest $2.6 million during the next three years in Salisbury, about 130 miles west of Raleigh.

The One North Carolina Fund grant, which must be matched by local incentives, requires Universal Forest to meet hiring and investment goals.
Universal Forest manufactures and distributes wood and wood-alternative products to the retail, construction, manufactured housing and industrial markets.

Water bottler to open Mooresville factory

A California-based bottled water company plans to open a new plant north of Charlotte and create 66 jobs during the next three years.

Niagara Bottling will receive a state grant worth up to $200,000 if it meets hiring and investment goals, Gov. Bev Perdue's office announced today.

The factory in Mooresville, about 150 miles west of Raleigh, will be the 10th plant nationwide for Niagara, founded in 1963. The factory will supply bottled water to grocers and other customers in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The average annual wage for the new jobs will be $39,447. That's higher than the Iredell County average of $36,348.

RockTenn to expand in Marion, add 124 jobs

A packaging manufacturer plans to expand in McDowell County and add 124 jobs over the next 18 months, Gov. Bev Perdue's office announced today.

RockTenn makes packaging products for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and other industries. The company will expand into a new facility in Marion, about 215 miles west of Raleigh.

The company will receive an incentives grant from the One North Carolina fund worth as much as $372,000 if it meets hiring and investment targets. The grant also requires matching local incentives.

RockTenn now employs 233 workers in McDowell County and more then 1,000 across North Carolina.

The new jobs will pay average annual salaries of $33,023. That higher than the McDowell County average of $29,224.

Mitsubishi Nuclear to add 135 jobs in Charlotte

Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems plans to open an engineering center in Charlotte and create 135 high-paying jobs over the next five years.

This morning, state officials approved giving the Japanese company up to $2.9 million in incentives if it meets hiring and investment targets.

The company will pay average annual salaries of $102,454. Mitsubishi also considered expansion in South Carolina.

The Charlotte center will help build nuclear plants in the United States.

Gov. Bev Perdue plans to make an announcement about new jobs in Charlotte this morning.

Charlotte is making a concerted effort to turn itself into a hub for energy-related companies.

Mitsubishi joins a number of other engineering and design firms that already have a presence in the ciy, including The Shaw Group, AREVA NP, Toshiba, Westinghouse, Fluor, Siemens and URS.

Sears looks to N.C., other states for new home, newspaper reports

Sears is reportedly considering moving its headquarters out of Illinois and North Carolina may be on the short list of potential new homes.

Sears Holding Corp., the parent of Sears and Kmart, has been in discussions with officials in North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and New Jersey, reports the Daily Herald, a Chicago-area newspaper.

The company moved to its current headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., from downtown Chicago more than two decades ago, and various state and local incentives are set to expire in 2012.

Part of the discussions with others states may simply be an effort to win an extension of property taxes and other financial assistance from Illinois and Hoffman Estates. 

Strap manufacturer to add 34 jobs in Clinton

A company that makes packaging straps plans to expand its production facility in Clinton, and create 34 jobs during the next three years.

DuBose Strapping will receive a state grant worth up to $138,000 if it meets hiring and investment milestones, Gov. Bev Perdue's office announced today.

The company opened its Clinton operation in 1991 and now employs 93 people. The facility is located in Sampson County about 65 miles south of Raleigh.

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