Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GOV. EASLEY ANNOUNCES 913 JOBS IN CATAWBA COUNTY N.C. Economy Gets Year-End Jolt As Covation Invests $5.47 Million For Hickory Customer Support Center

Dec 30, 2008

Gov. Mike Easley announced today that Covation LLC, a high-end customer support center for business telecommunications services, plans to open a facility in Hickory. The company plans to invest $5.47 million and create 913 jobs during the next two years. The announcement was made possible in part by a $600,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

“This is great news and a great way to end the year,” said Gov. Mike Easley. “Even as the national economy has made things tough in North Carolina, the smart, targeted investments in education and workforce training our state has made along with the nation’s top business climate continues to attract companies that are looking to succeed and grow.”

Covation is a privately held company based in Atlanta. The 913 jobs to be created will be the company’s first in North Carolina, and will pay an average of $34,500 a year, not including benefits. That is more than the Catawba County annual average wage of $33,300.

“We are delighted with the support of both state and local officials to bring this large employment opportunity to Hickory,” said Covation Vice President for Community Affairs Joseph J. Sanders. “We look forward to being an active member of the business community for many years to come.”

The One North Carolina Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. All of these grants also require and are contingent upon local matches. In addition, this project is subject to the company reaching a final lease agreement with property owners.

Through the use of the One North Carolina Fund, more than 35,000 jobs and $6.5 billion in investment have been created since 2001. Other project partners include: the state Department of Commerce, the N.C. Community College System, Catawba County, the City of Hickory, and the Catawba County Economic Development Corp.

For more information about employment opportunities at Covation, email: jobs@covation.com or call (877) 547-5764.