Job Creation

Metlife Relocates 2600 Jobs to North Carolina

Global life insurance giant MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) intends to create 2,600 jobs in Charlotte and Cary, North Carolina by the end of 2015. This is the largest jobs announcement in recent North Carolina history.

NC Gov. Pat McCrory at MetLife event

NC Gov. Pat McCrory at MetLife event (photo – NC Governor’s Office)

“We’re proud that a strong corporate partner like MetLife has decided to invest in North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory. “These jobs will complement our financial services sector in Charlotte and our high-tech hub in Wake County, two distinct sectors we want to expand.”

MetLife plans to establish hubs for its U.S. Retail Business in Charlotte and for its Global Technology and Operations organization in Cary. To this end, the company expects to invest $125.5 million into its new Mecklenburg and Wake County campuses.

These 2,600 jobs, paying average annual wages of $82,000, are positions being relocated to North Carolina from two locations in California and from five states in the east – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Metlife was enticed in part by a massive state and local incentives package that adds up to $100 million. Metlife was approved for a performance-based state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). The twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created, which could add up to $87.2 million.

As much as $29.09 million in additional funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties.

Metlife is also getting a grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $2 million. Community colleges in the state are pitching in with $5 million in training assistance. Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte are in the process of approving $2.9 million in local grants. Wake County and the Town of Cary are likewise expected to approve another $4 million.

“We would like to thank Governor McCrory, Commerce Secretary Decker, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, Wake County and the Town of Cary for their partnership through this process,” said Marty Lippert, executive vice president, MetLife. “MetLife is pleased to be joining the other great companies that make up the North Carolina business community.”

“North Carolina has much to offer our employees and the company. The strong sense of community in Cary and Charlotte, as well as the region’s robust infrastructure and sustainable talent pool were all compelling reasons for coming here,” added Eric Steigerwalt, executive vice president, MetLife.

New York-based MetLife has more than 66,000 employees, of which around 23,000 are administrative positions spread around the northeast.

USAA Announces Expansions With 3500 New Jobs

San Antonio, Texas-based financial services firm United Services Automobile Association (USAA) announced expansion plans in San Antonio and Phoenix, Arizona.

USAA HQ in San Antonio, TX

USAA HQ in San Antonio, TX (photo –

The company will be adding as many as 3,500 net new jobs over the next three years, starting with 1,000 jobs each in San Antonio and Phoenix by 2015.

“Demand has never been stronger for all that USAA offers, and we need to continue to have the best employees in sufficient numbers,” said USAA CEO Joe Robles. “We’re committed to every community where we currently have operations and are expanding first in San Antonio and Phoenix.”

The San Antonio expansion could bring as many as 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2015 to its headquarters community where it already employs more than 16,400 people.

To supplement its main campus, which USAA estimates is at nearly 90 percent capacity, it will occupy additional leased space in the San Antonio area.

“When you consider jobs, local investment and community involvement, USAA is at the top of the list of corporate partners in San Antonio,” Mayor Juli√°n Castro said. “This expansion represents the coming together of USAA’s stellar business performance and San Antonio’s status as one of the top-performing local economies in the nation.”

In Phoenix, USAA plans to break ground next month on construction of a 380,000-square-foot expansion of its existing campus in northern Phoenix. The larger office space is expected to house as many as 1,000 new employees by the end of 2015.

“We have always had a close working relationship with USAA since they moved to Phoenix, and their decision to increase employment is a reflection of that close working relationship,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “USAA creates great jobs for Phoenix and great work for veterans. We will continue to work relentlessly on bringing high-quality jobs like these to Phoenix.”

USAA also announced that, as per their hiring policy, 25 percent of all the new hires will be military veterans or spouses.

“Providing career opportunities for veterans is more than simply doing what is right,” says USAA chief administrative officer Shon Manasco. “The skills these men and women are able to bring to the table should be valuable to any employer.”

Since 2005, USAA has hired more than 6,000 military veterans and spouses. Overall, USAA has 24,000 employees, of which around 16,400 are located in San Antonio, Texas.

CenturyLink Breaks Ground for 800-Job HQ Expansion in Louisiana

CenturyLink CEO and President Glen F. Post III was accompanied by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo and others for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Fortune 500 company’s new Technology Center of Excellence at CenturyLink‚Äôs corporate headquarters in Monroe, La.


CenturyLink (photo –

The 250,000-square-foot expansion to the existing 365,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is a huge project, and will create 800 new jobs.

The building is expected to be awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the headquarters expansion will result in 1,170 new indirect jobs in the greater Monroe area, and the building project will create an additional 350 construction jobs at peak activity.

“CenturyLink is one of Louisiana’s greatest success stories, and we’re proud that they chose to build on that success by capitalizing on our strong business climate and expanding their headquarters here at home,” said Gov. Jindal.

These jobs, combined with a prior 350-job expansion announced in 2009, will contribute $67.7 million in new annual payroll by 2016, pushing CenturyLink’s statewide annual payroll in Louisiana beyond the $200 million mark. The company will then have 2,600 employees in the Monroe area.

“We are very pleased to celebrate the groundbreaking of the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence with our employees, our community and our business partners,” Post said. “We look forward to continuing to grow CenturyLink’s presence in Northeastern Louisiana, and to working with individuals and organizations to make the region an even better place to live and work.”

The State of Louisiana will contribute up to $14.9 million toward the headquarters expansion, at a rate of $1 for every $2 spent by CenturyLink. The company, which hasn’t yet established the final project cost, will begin the building construction in May 2013.

“We are extremely proud of CenturyLink for choosing to make this corporate investment,” said Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo. “The 800 new jobs at the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence will help attract and retain intellectual capital and support jobs to our city. This expansion to CenturyLink’s Monroe campus is a sign of their commitment to the economic vitality of our city, parish and region.”

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) is the nation’s third-largest telecommunications company and a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for business customers. It has more than 47,500 employees around the world.

CenturyLink is the top economic driver company in Northeast Louisiana, and one of the top 10 economic drivers in Louisiana’s private sector statewide. Last year, the company generated $18.4 billion in annual revenue and $947 million in net income.

Northrop Grumman Designates Centers of Excellence in FL, CA, NY

Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), one of the largest defense contractors in the world, announced today it is designating five centers of design and integration excellence in Florida, California and New York.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman (photo –

Specific programs and the associated jobs will be consolidated into these five centers. Florida is expected to gain more than 1,000 net new jobs out of the consolidation process.

The two designated Northrop Grumman Centers of Excellence in Melbourne and St. Augustine in Florida are expected to add 920 and 80 new jobs respectively.

“We are grateful for Northrop Grumman’s existing presence in our state and that they have chosen to establish two new centers of excellence here – one in St. Augustine and one in Melbourne,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “More companies continue to move here from other states like New York and California because Florida is committed to cutting taxes and eliminating regulations to help job creators succeed at creating more jobs.”

The Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence will be located in Melbourne, Fla., and will include aircraft design work currently being performed at the company’s Bethpage, NY facility in Long Island.

The company said it would be moving 850 jobs out of Long island by next year. Some of the displaced workers at Bethpage will be offered transfers to Florida or California.

“Northrop Grumman’s continued investment in the state is a testament to Florida’s competitiveness and supportive business climate,” said Gray Swoope, FL Secretary of Commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “The importance of having strong strategic partners cannot be overstated: Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida and the professional economic development teams in both communities and the region made it possible to move quickly and to put together a competitive case for Northrop Grumman to grow its presence in Florida.”

The company has additionally designated two Aircraft Integration Centers of Excellence, one in Palmdale, CA, and the other in St. Augustine, FL. The Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence will be located at the company’s Rancho Bernardo facility in San Diego, CA. The last one is an Electronic Attack Center of Excellence in Bethpage, NY.

“Consolidating these centers of excellence will improve our strategic alignment with our customers’ need for increasingly innovative and affordable products, services and solutions,” said Wes Bush, chairman, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman. “We continuously examine our operational capacity to determine how we can leverage it in the most efficient and cost-competitive manner. Given the current budget environment, it is imperative that we act to enhance future performance, innovation and affordability for our customers.”

As part of the austerity measures being taken, Northrop Grumman announced plans to close an Information Systems sector facility in Dominguez Hills, California. Work being done there will be transitioned in phases to other company facilities beginning in 2013. Northrop Grumman also announced plans to complete the closure of an electronic systems facility in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Automotive Finance Co. NextGear Expands HQ in Carmel, IN

NextGear Capital, an automotive financial services provider, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the latest addition to their corporate campus in Carmel, Indiana.

NextGear Capital

NextGear Capital (photo –

The company is investing $19.5 million for the expansion, which is expected to create 169 new jobs.

“Indiana’s business climate is a magnet for high-growth companies across the country,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence. “Our first-rate workforce, fiscal stability and low tax structure continue to position the Hoosier State for additional growth from well-respected firms like NextGear Capital. Indiana is open for business.”

In order to secure the project, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered NextGear Capital up to $1,300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

“We are extremely excited to be expanding our corporate campus in Carmel,” said Brian Geitner, president of NextGear Capital. “We have seen solid growth in our customer base over the past couple of years and this expansion will allow us to continue to provide the solutions necessary to service our customers as they continue to grow their business.”

NextGear provides inventory financing programs for more than 17,000 automotive dealers across the country, and will finance more than $10 billion-worth of inventory in 2013.

NextGear previously expanded its Carmel headquarters in 2009, when it invested $6.4 million and added 60 new jobs. This latest $19.5 million expansion is being spent to lease and renovate a second 33,000 square-foot Carmel office to house its dealer services, auction services and business development center.

“I am pleased that NextGear Capital has invested in our community and is continuing to expand in Carmel,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “Our focus and commitment to a high quality of life is always key in attracting and retaining business. This increased economic growth continues to provide excellent employment opportunities in our community.”

NextGear Capital is a subsidiary of Manheim, the world’s largest provider of vehicle remarketing services operating in more than 100 markets across North America.

NextGear currently has 200 associates in Carmel, Indiana and 400 worldwide. The company plans to add an additional 225 jobs over the next 18 to 24 months.

AREVA to Relocate North American HQ to Charlotte, NC

French Nuclear Energy company AREVA will be expanding its operations in Charlotte, North Carolina to include its North American headquarters, which is currently located in Bethesda, Maryland.


AREVA (photo –

AREVA currently employs 562 people in Charlotte and another 78 at its Columbiana Hi Tech subsidiary located in Greensboro.

The company plans to create 130 high-paying new jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2016 and invest $404,000 into its Mecklenburg County location.

Compensation will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs is expected to be more than $130,000 plus benefits.

“We are working to make our state the very best place to live and do business,” said NC Governor Pat McCrory. “Businesses have choices, and we are proud that AREVA has chosen North Carolina for its headquarters.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based award from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, AREVA is eligible to receive up to nine annual grants equal to 65 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created.

Over nine years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to AREVA of upto $2.5 million. In addition, up to $851,000 in additional funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties.

“North Carolina is a great place to do business because of its quality of life, extensive business infrastructure, investments in workforce development and commitment to forming partnerships with industry,” said Michael W. Rencheck, CEO of AREVA.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce, Mecklenburg County, City of Charlotte, the Charlotte Chamber and Duke Energy were all involved in securing the project for the state.

“The Charlotte Chamber is honored to be a part of AREVA’s dynamic growth and commitment to our city and state. Announcements such as this provide further proof of our emerging energy hub status,” said Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber president.

AREVA has 46,000 employees worldwide, including 5,000 employees at more than 40 locations in North America.

European Commission Launches Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

European Commission President Jos√© Manuel Barroso today called on Europe’s digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs to address up to 900,000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in Information and Communication technologies (ICT) by 2015.

European Commission HQ

European Commission HQ (photo credit – EU –

The number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100,000 per year, but the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.

‚ÄúThe Grand Coalition we launch today is an essential part of getting Europe’s economy back on track and finding jobs for some of Europe’s 26 million unemployed,‚Äù said Barroso. ‚ÄúI applaud those companies who have signed up today. If, together, we can turn the tide and fill the growing number of ICT vacancies, we will see a much wider impact across the whole economy. We want to empower Europeans to fill the jobs that will drive the next ICT revolution.‚Äù

Initial commitments from have been obtained from over 15 companies and organizations that have signed on to the Grand Coalition.

Nokia, Telefónica, SAP, Cisco, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Randstad, ENI, Telenor Group, ARM, as well as the CIO community, CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) and Digital Europe have made pledges on new jobs, internships, training places, start-up funding, free online university courses and more.

The mandate of the Grand Coalition runs from 2013 to 2015 with a review foreseen at the end of this term. As per the framing document, the Grand Coalition will be focusing on five main actions:-

1. Training and matching for digital jobs;

2. Collective action to solve mobility problems (e.g. set up a language class for ICT practitioners hired by several companies in a given region).

3. Certification;

4. Attracting young people to ICT – awareness raising; and

5. Attracting people to ICT: innovative learning and teaching.

This last one will need more aligned educational schemes as well as structural changes inside the educational systems. The document suggests boosting ICT education and training via attractive work-based learning schemes, more efficient teacher professional development schemes, etc.

ABB Announces $14M Expansion With 250 Jobs in Bartlesville, OK

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB and the Bartlesville Development Corporation (BDC) announced that ABB will expand its Bartlesville, Oklahoma operation with a $14 million investment.

Bartlesville, OK

Bartlesville, OK (photo –

The expansion will create 250 new engineering and manufacturing jobs with average annual wages of $75,000.

The investment will be used to double the 100,000-sq-ft space occupied by ABB’s existing Bartlesville manufacturing plant that makes natural gas measurement equipment.

“The strength of the oil & gas market, specifically unconventional drilling activity; has provided our business a great opportunity for growth in recent years,” said ABB General Manager Gayle Lester. “We have been successful in making the most of this opportunity and are very excited to be able to expand our local facility to meet the increasing demand from customers.”

Lester added that the support of the BDC and the Quality Jobs program administered by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce were key factors in the decision to expand the existing facility.

Under the proposal, the Bartlesville Development Authority (BDA) – the financing division of the BDC, will expand the publicly-owned facility currently occupied by ABB, and extend the lease for an additional 10 years. ABB will get a thousand dollars per new job per year, and additionally get state incentives under the Quality Jobs program.

“Projects of this caliber don’t come along every day, and they certainly don’t come together overnight. BDC has been working collaboratively with ABB on this for over a year,” said David Wood, BDC president. “ABB continues to be a solid community partner, and we are delighted to see these new, high-wage jobs come to Bartlesville.”

This project represents ABB’s third expansion in the Bartlesville Industrial Park since 2000. This latest expansion doubles their space and employee headcount.

“Oklahoma’s high quality of life, low cost of living and pro-business atmosphere are quickly making it a national and even international destination for businesses,” said OK Gov. Mary Fallin. “As a result, we have been able to attract the kind of high quality, good paying jobs offered by ABB, even in a very competitive economy.”

ABB has operations in around 100 countries, with approximately 145,000 employees in June 2012, and reported global revenue of $40 billion for 2011.

Chrysler Announces $374 Million Investment With 1250 Jobs in Indiana

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest nearly $374 million to boost transmission production and add about 1,250 new jobs in north-central Indiana, making it the largest transmission installation in the world.

Chrysler Kokomo transmission plant event

Chrysler Kokomo transmission plant event (photo – City of Kokomo)

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed investments and jobs at the following local plants:-

Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission I Plants – $212 million for additional tooling and equipment to produce the eight- and nine-speed transmissions; adding up to 400 new jobs.

Tipton Transmission Plant – Acquiring the former Getrag facility and investing $162 million to establish an additional assembly site for the nine-speed transmission; creating up to 850 new jobs.

“Our investments in Kokomo and Tipton are a tribute to the character of the men and women of Chrysler who survived a near-fatal experience and have embraced the challenge of building an enterprise that is able to compete with the best in the world,” said Marchionne. “Our powertrain team has consistently demonstrated the ability and the willingness to think in unconventional ways in order to exceed expectations.

This announcement was made by Marchionne at the Kokomo transmission plant, with Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Tipton Mayor Don Havens, Tipton County Commission President Mike Cline and others on hand for the event.

“Chrysler’s choice of Indiana for this landmark project puts all eyes on the Hoosier State today,” said IN Gov. Mike Pence. “We are thrilled with the number of career opportunities for Hoosiers, and this marks another important step in the resurgence of the U.S. automotive industry.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Chrysler Group, LLC up to $11,500,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The cities of Kokomo and Tipton have additionally approved tax abatements.

“Chrysler’s future and the future of Kokomo and north central Indiana are tied together, and that future has never looked brighter,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “Today’s announcement is a product of the partnership Mr. Marchionne has developed with Chrysler and state and local officials to revitalize this company, and it shows. It is seen on the factory floors and in the showrooms where sales of Chrysler automobiles outpace competitors.”

Chrysler Group currently employs over 6,100 in Kokomo, and has confirmed investments of more than $1.6 billion in Kokomo for transmissions and other improvements.

“Both our region of the state and our community have been greatly strengthened by this announcement,” said Tipton Mayor Don Havens. “Tipton welcomes this Chrysler project and the attendant investment with enthusiasm and an appreciation for the economic development engine it promises to be.”

In total, Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler Group’s investments in its U.S. facilities have risen to nearly $5.2 billion since June 2009. In the same time frame, the Company has added nearly 8,000 U.S. hourly jobs.


Koester Metals to Relocate HQ from Ohio to Fremont, IN

Koester Metals, Inc. (KMI), a manufacturer of sheet metal fabrications and enclosures, announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Defiance, Ohio to Fremont, Indiana.

Koester Metals

KMI (photo –

The company will invest $2.7 million to move its headquarters and operations to its existing 130,000 square-foot facility in Fremont.

KMI currently employs 16 Hoosiers in Fremont, and the relocation will create 44 new jobs in Indiana by 2018.

“KMI is the latest company to look across the border and take notice of Indiana‚Äôs business-friendly climate,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “Our fiscal stability, robust infrastructure and strong workforce have made the Hoosier State the best place to do business in the Midwest.”

IEDC has offered Koester Metals, Inc. up to $240,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The town of Fremont will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation.

“KMI has been an excellent local company for Fremont since they initially leased the Fremont building in 2009,” said Steve Brown, president of the Fremont Town Council. “We are happy to see them acquire that facility, relocate their headquarters and consolidate operations in Fremont. This is a testament to the advantages of operating a business in Fremont and the state of Indiana.”

Matthew Koester, operations manager of KMI, said that the state of Indiana and local governments were very important in helping KMI make the decision to relocate fabricating equipment from Ohio and update the Steuben County facility’s software and technology.

“We are greatly looking forward to this move,” added Koester. “We look forward to continued growth and success within the Fremont area and to further develop our roots within the community.”

KMI was founded in 1975 in Defiance, Ohio, and currently has three facilities, including two in Defiance and one in Fremont, Indiana.

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