Friday, September 9, 2022 - 00:00

Governor Cooper Announces Wolfspeed Selects North Carolina for 445 Acre Manufacturing Campus

Contact: Governor's Press Office

Raleigh, N.C.
Sep 9, 2022

Wolfspeed, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Silicon Carbide semiconductors, will create more than 1,800 new jobs in Chatham County by 2030, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will construct a manufacturing campus for the production of Silicon Carbide materials with an investment of approximately $5 billion over the next eight years in the Town of Siler City.

“Wolfspeed’s decision further validates North Carolina as the epicenter of clean energy,” said Governor Cooper. “This is another milestone in our drive toward a clean energy economy as it will boost electric vehicle manufacturing and offshore wind while fighting climate change and putting money in the pockets of every day North Carolinians with great paying jobs.”

Founded and headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Wolfspeed is the global leader in the production of Silicon Carbide materials and devices which support sustainability through a more efficient use of energy than traditional semiconductor technology. This technology is used in a variety of applications including electric vehicles, 5G networks, and renewable energy and storage. The company’s expansion at the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site will produce the Silicon Carbide materials to make semiconductor chips and devices that more efficiently power electric vehicle inverters and charging systems.

“We are particularly excited and proud to not only expand Wolfspeed’s footprint in our home state of North Carolina, but also our relationship with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to develop a workforce of the future,” said Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed. “The Chatham County facility will enable the increasing adoption of Silicon Carbide and will drive the dramatic growth of the technology as the power semiconductor market transitions from silicon to the much more efficient Silicon Carbide technology.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce coordinated the state’s recruitment of Wolfspeed, which also involved state, regional, and local organizations. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position, but altogether the average wage will be $77,753, which exceeds Chatham County’s average annual wage of $41,638. The project could increase the payroll by more than $140 million per year for the region.

“Our clean energy supply chain continues to grow with advanced manufacturers like Wolfspeed and its record investment in our state,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “North Carolina’s economy has a rich manufacturing legacy that benefits from its homegrown companies and innovative research ecosystem to support their success. As a state, we are committed to providing more creative training systems to further develop the talented workforce to help our state maintain its cutting-edge leadership"

The project from Wolfspeed, will be facilitated, in part, by a High-Yield Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Wolfspeed’s project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $17.5 billion over 20 years, the time period when the grant could be active. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 1,802 new jobs, and accounting for a company investment of $5 billion, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $76.1 million, paid over a time period of 20 years.

Like all grants from the JDIG program, any state payments only occur following performance verification each year by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

Wolfspeed’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $10 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities anywhere in the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. 

The state approved additional support to help with final site preparations at the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site as part of the recently passed state budget (North Carolina House Bill 103). Included in that support was a $57.5 million appropriation to the Department of Commerce to be used for site preparation.

“North Carolina is a world leader in manufacturing, and Wolfspeed’s expansion confirms that,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. “That wouldn’t be possible without the General Assembly’s long-term commitment to developing a strong, well-educated workforce, reining in burdensome regulations, and lowering taxes.”  

“I am thrilled that Wolfspeed will be bringing a new manufacturing site to North Carolina that will produce semiconductor chips and devices to benefit millions worldwide,” said North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore. “As we continue on the tried-and-true path of responsible economic growth that has made North Carolina so appealing, it is no surprise that more companies like Wolfspeed are expanding in our state.”

“Innovative companies know North Carolina is the premier choice for their strategic growth strategies,” said Senator Dan Blue, Democratic Leader of the North Carolina Senate. “Wolfspeed’s decision is a great vote of confidence for our manufacturing and burgeoning clean energy economy to help energize our future success.”

“This is another incredible announcement for Chatham County and the entire state,” said N.C. Representative Robert T. Reives. “Wolfspeed’s commitment to create 1,800 new jobs and invest $5 billion in our region is a strong testament to the preparation and leadership of the state, regional, and local officials that helped bring this project to our community.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Wolfspeed to our community,” said N.C. Senator Valerie Foushee. “When this company could have taken their factory anywhere, they’ve chosen Chatham County and the best state for business as they join a growing list of companies that will support the state’s clean energy future.”

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, , the GoldenLEAF Foundation, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina State University, Chatham County, the Town of Siler City, the City of Asheboro, the Town of Ramseur, the Town of Franklinville, the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation, and the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation.

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