CommScope [NASDAQ: COMM], a global telecommunications leader, plans to add 250 new jobs with a $60.3 million investment to expand its fiber-optic cable manufacturing operations in Catawba County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.
“Connecting every household in North Carolina to high-speed internet is going to take a lot of fiber, and with this expansion CommScope is answering the call not only with American jobs, but North Carolina jobs,” said Governor Cooper. “We appreciate CommScope’s additional investment in Catawba County and their confidence in our workforce to improve the nation’s fiber-optic infrastructure.”
Founded in Hickory, North Carolina, CommScope has led the communications technology space for more than 45 years. The Fortune 500 company began with coaxial cable production for broadband and cable TV and now offers end-to-end solutions for wired and wireless networks. CommScope develops, manufactures, installs, and supports network and hardware infrastructure for a digital society, such as the high-speed internet that connects people and places around the world. This project will upgrade the Catawba County facilities to increase the company’s capacity to produce fiber optic cable.
“CommScope is in the business of providing connectivity solutions, and we are proud to produce the fiber cables that help ensure all Americans have access to Broadband, right here in the State of North Carolina,” said Chuck Treadway, President & CEO of CommScope. “We appreciate our long-standing relationship with the State and Catawba County. This investment and jobs creation over the next four years will continue to keep the focus on North Carolina as the fiber cable hub of the U.S.”
“Broadband is as critical infrastructure as any other utility and our workforce, education and economic prosperity depend on it,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “As a North Carolina company and leader in cable production, CommScope knows the value of doing business in our state. I’m committed to providing the work and services that will enable this company and other innovators to continue advancing technology and high-speed internet for underserved communities.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support the company’s expansion in North Carolina.
Although salaries for the new positions will vary, the average annual wage for the new positions is $57,444. Catawba County’s average salary is $52,172. The project’s payroll impact could fuel more than $14.3 million into the community each year.
CommScope’s expansion will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $834 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,899,900 spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because CommScope chose to expand in Catawba County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $211,100 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities across the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.
“We gladly welcome these new jobs and investments to our community,” said N.C. Senator Dean Proctor. “CommScope could have expanded anywhere in the world, but they chose to further invest here at home, and we stand ready to help them in this next phase of growth.”
“Catawba County has a strong telecommunications cluster,” said N.C. Representative Mitchell S. Setzer. “CommScope is the largest employer in the county and a great corporate citizen. We appreciate their contributions and the diligent work of the economic developers and local and state officials that supported this project.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Information Technology, North Carolina Community College System, Catawba County Community College, Catawba County, and County Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.