April 26, 2021

Apple picks Triangle for $1 billion campus, thousands of high-paying new jobs

Apple announced a new $1 billion-plus campus and engineering hub that will create thousands of high-paying jobs in the Triangle over the next five years.

What to know:

  • The 1-million-sq.-ft. building will bring more than 3,000 additional jobs to RTP.
  • Jobs will be offered in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering and other cutting-edge industries and will eventually pay a minimum average salary of $187,000.
  • Apple says it will invest more than $1 billion in the state.
  • In addition to the new campus, the company will invest $100 million to support schools and community initiatives in the Triangle and will put more than $110 million toward infrastructure in 80 North Carolina counties.
  • Political leaders and local economists say the move will easily attract people and companies from across the U.S. and from other countries to the state and the Triangle.

Apple campus bringing 3,000 jobs to NC

According to WRAL News reporter Travis Fain, the campus will be built in RTP on land purchased in late 2018 by a company identified as Acute Investments LLC. The site is located off the Triangle Expressway between Louis Stephens Drive and Davis Drive. Listed in the deal is Bruce Thompson, a registered lobbyist for Apple.

The jobs are lucrative, with minimum salaries starting at $133,520 and rising to $168,301 by year three of the deal. Over time, the average wage would be $187,001, just about triple the current average annual wage in Wake County of $63,966.

Jobs will be created over a decade from about 2023 to 2032.

Positions will be primarily in artificial intelligence, machine learning and software engineering, according to information provided by the Department of Commerce and the EIC.

"Once this campus is up and running, it's expected to generate more than $1.5 billion a year an economic impact to our state," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Apple expects to invest some $1 billion in the new campus. The company also agreed to retain some 1,100 existing jobs across North Carolina.

North Carolina State University economist Dr. Mike Walden said Apple's decision will attract other employers to the state and ultimately double the jobs coming to the Triangle.

"You can usually double [Apple's job announcement of 3,000] when you take into account all the other firms that will come here because Apple comes," Walden said. "We will celebrate this for years to come. It tells the world that North Carolina – specifically the Triangle – is the place for economic development in the post-pandemic world."

The addition of Apple further strengthens the Triangle as one of the country’s leading high-tech and life science hubs. The Raleigh-Durham metro is already home to IBM’s largest campus, Raleigh-based Red Hat, which is part of IBM, and other high-profile firms such as Lenovo (the world’s top PC seller and a global leader in supercomputers), Cree, Oracle, Cisco and NetApp. Google plans a new engineering hub in Durham, and Microsoft is adding hundreds of jobs in the Triangle.

The region also has landed several significant life science investments for biomanufacturing and ranks among the top five hubs nationally.

"The scope of this project is transformative," said North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders. It means new jobs, careers. It means an influx of people relocating. It means new partnerships and opportunity. It has a multiplier effect. It means growth for other businesses and industries as well, like real estate, retail, hospitality, among others."

Apple will fund support for schools, infrastructure

In addition to the new campus in RTP, Apple is making additional investments in infrastructure and education across the state.

"Apple is showing that they're just not creating jobs and building a new campus. They want to be a committed partner with our state for the long term," Cooper said, citing a conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

According to the governor, Apple has the opportunity to get tax reimbursements of up to almost $846 million over 39 years. In terms of dollars, it is the state's largest incentives deal to date.

Any company that gets tax breaks from the state to create jobs is required by law to contribute to a fund which provides money for broadband internet, roads, bridges and public schools in 80 counties. Over 39 years, if Apple meets its job creation and investment targets, that account will see an additional $112.4 million to help rural communities build infrastructure and attract companies to create jobs in their communities.

"New tax revenue generated by Apple's new campus and the high-paying jobs that come with it will help fund schools, colleges, roads and bridges from the mountains to the coast," said state Sen. Phil Berger.

Dr. Scott Ralls, president of Wake Tech, was among the academic leaders who recognized the opportunity Apple presents to job seekers of the future.

“This announcement means incredible economic impact for our state and outstanding job opportunities. We are excited to work with Apple to maximize those opportunities for the people of our region," Ralls said.

Dr. Randy Woodson, chancellor of North Carolina State University, said he sees "extraordinary opportunities for N.C. State’s skilled graduates and advancing the state's economy."

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