Corning Optical Relocating Corporate Headquarters to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Corning Optical Communications plans to relocate the global headquarters of its $2.7 billion Optical Communications to northwest suburban Charlotte from Hickory, N.C., company officals announced earlier this month. The project will create 150 new jobs in Mecklenburg County as it relocates others. Optical Communications, a world-leading provider of fiber optic solutions, plans to invest $38.7 million by the end of 2018 as part of the new corporate headquarters, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The investment in a new state-of-the-art facility is designed to support long-term growth and strengthen the business’ global competitive position, according to Corning. The company says new location will provide: centralized access to Corning’s multiple facilities across North Carolina; greater access to transportation for customers, suppliers, business partners, and thousands of employees; increased access to the specialized talent needed to support future growth into new areas and technologies

“Corning's plan to locate the headquarters for Optical Communications in Mecklenburg County builds on our 40-plus-year relationship with North Carolina,” said Clark Kinlin, executive vice president of Corning Optical Communications. “This decision is further evidence of our confidence in our growing $2.7 billion business, and North Carolina as a world-class location for a technology company.”

“We remain deeply committed to Hickory. Our major operations and approximately two-thirds of our employees will remain here,” Kinlin added.

Corning Optical Communications has more than 30 locations and 17,000 employees worldwide. The business employs more than 3,000 people across five locations in North Carolina, including two of the world’s largest fiber manufacturing facilities in Concord and Wilmington and two of the world’s largest fiber cabling facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory.

The location of the new facility is in the final stages of negotiation. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2016 and take 24 months to complete.

“Corning is a company that makes things that are ingrained in how we live and work, and their choice of North Carolina for continued job growth says all the right things about the quality of our people and our business climate,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said in a news release. “Corning is an integral part of North Carolina and we worked to keep it that way. "This decision also positions the company to readily expand its operations in its other four locations in the state.”

The new positions at Corning Optical Communications will average more than $80,000. Mecklenburg County’s average annual wage is $59,882. Corning Optical Communication’s expansion in Mecklenburg County will be facilitated in part by an award to the company from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program that was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee.

Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive up to $2.35 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by state departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall revenue benefit to the state of North Carolina. Corning Optical Communication’s JDIG is contingent upon county or municipal government offers of local incentives.

By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Tier 3 counties such as Mecklenburg, 25 percent of the award amount is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in less populated Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. Corning Optical Communications’ expansion could provide as much as $784,000 in new funds for the Utility Account.