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Corning to Expand Midland Facility, Adding 200 Jobs and Investing $109 Million in Cabarrus County

Published Tuesday, February 21, 2017



NOTE: Local grant information, quotes from Cabarrus County officials and a quote from Corning that is targeted to Cabarrus County have been added to the release issued earlier today by Gov. Cooper’s office. 


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Robert Carney, Executive Director

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Corning Optical Communications to Expand Midland Facility

Company Will Add 200 Jobs and Invest $109 Million in Cabarrus County

Feb. 20, 2017 – MIDLAND, NC - Corning Incorporated and its subsidiary, Corning Optical Communications LLC, announced today it will invest $109 million to expand its existing optical fiber manufacturing facility in Midland, creating 200 jobs over the next two years.

“Corning is a global leader with a longstanding commitment to North Carolina,” Governor Roy Cooper said earlier today in a news release. “Companies that continue to innovate and invest in research and development are the kinds of high-tech job creators we want working with North Carolina.” 

Corning Optical Communications (COC) is a worldwide provider of fiber optic communication solutions for voice, data and video networks. Its 165-year-old parent company, Corning Incorporated [NYSE: GLW], has applied its expertise in precision glass, ceramics and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives, including the invention of low-loss optical fiber, which drove a global communications revolution.

As a $3 billion segment of Corning Incorporated, COC employs more than 3,000 people across five facilities throughout North Carolina, including two of the world’s largest fiber manufacturing facilities in Midland and Wilmington and two of the world’s largest fiber cabling facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory. In March 2016, the Midland plant was one of eight Corning sites to achieve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry recognition.

“We are pleased to announce this expansion of our world-class optical fiber manufacturing footprint in Midland,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “This manufacturing facility has been a vital part of Corning’s 46-year history in North Carolina, where we invent, make and sell high-performance fiber optic solutions to global network operators. Our expansion here would not be possible without the ongoing support of city, county and state government entities that help make our increased investment here a win/win.”

COC will hire a variety of workers needed at the manufacturing facility, including operators, distribution staff, maintenance personnel and other workers. Salaries will vary by position, but the annual compensation for the company’s new jobs will be the following:  Cabarrus County:  $58,146 (average county wage is $37,808).

North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina led the state’s support for the company’s expansion.

“North Carolina is fortunate to have the skilled workforce, location, infrastructure and healthy business climate that a Fortune 500 company like Corning needs to be successful,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.

Corning’s expansion in Cabarrus County will be facilitated, in part, by Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive the following: Cabarrus County - up to $2,124,000 in total reimbursements, over 12 years.

Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by North Carolina Commerce and North Carolina Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets at both locations. 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.

By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Cabarrus County and other Tier 3 counties, 25 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account.  More information is available on county tier designations.

“We are very proud of our corporate partner, Corning Optical Communications, and commend them for their decision to grow right here in Cabarrus County, where we have the best business climate a company could ask for,” said N.C. Representative Linda Johnson.

Partnering with North Carolina Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Community College System, Cabarrus County, Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation and Duke Energy.

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners supported Corning’s expansion project and approved a five-year, performance-based grant for $3.2 million following a public hearing held earlier tonight. “Corning’s reinvestment shows how the assets of a community can drive economic growth - it's a great reciprocal partnership,” said Steve Morris, board chairman. “They recognize how the depth of our talented workforce and the strength of our community can move their company forward. In turn, they diversify our economy and expand our tax base.”

Robert Carney, executive director of Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation, added “Cabarrus County is a hub for advanced technology because of innovative and industry-leading companies like Corning. We are proud to have this $109 million investment and growth of 200 additional jobs in our community.”


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