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Local Government
Insurance Company to Expand Operations in Wayne County Creating 83 Jobs PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:55
Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, a national provider of commercial insurance products, will create 83 jobs as it expands its Wayne County headquarters, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest more than $11.8 million in Goldsboro.
“Atlantic Casualty will bring more jobs and investment to Wayne County, which is good for eastern North Carolina’s people and our economy,” said Governor Cooper. “When companies choose to expand in North Carolina, we know our state is doing the right things to grow our workforce.”
Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auto-Owners Insurance Group, is a specialty provider of commercial insurance for hard-to-place risks. Headquartered in Goldsboro with offices in Glastonbury, Connecticut, Richmond, Virginia and Scottsdale, Arizona, the company operates in 49 states and has earned an A rating from A.M. Best, classifying the company’s financial strength as Excellent. The project in Goldsboro will include a significant expansion of the company’s existing 28,850 square foot facility by constructing a new 30,000 square foot office building.
“We are excited to be expanding our home office here in Goldsboro. Our business was founded 37 years ago and we look forward to continuing our support in this great community and in the State of North Carolina,” says Bret Strickland, President & Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Casualty.
“Financial services companies like Atlantic Casualty have always done well in our state,” said North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “The concentration of these companies in North Carolina speaks to our favorable business climate and to our ability to provide the skilled and available workforce they need.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process.
Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but the average annual wage will be $54,398. The Wayne County average annual wage is $35,485.
A performance-based grant of $250,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Atlantic Casualty’s expansion in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“Atlantic Casualty is a valued employer in Goldsboro and Wayne County,” said N.C. Senator Jim Perry. “We welcome this new expansion and will work with the company and its employees as they grow. This announcement is good for Wayne County, but it also helps eastern N.C. Countless studies have shown economic impact is regional, and does not stop at imaginary county lines.”
“It’s great to see companies who know us best decide to expand their business in North Carolina,” said N.C. Representative Raymond E. Smith, Jr. “Companies like Atlantic Casualty have many locations to choose from when they expand, so it’s a welcome vote of confidence that they’ve chosen to expand their business in Wayne County.”
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, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Duke Energy, the Golden LEAF Foundation, North Carolina’s Southeast, Harry & Mollie, LLC , Wayne County, the City of Goldsboro, and the Wayne County Development Alliance. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:56
Gene Therapy Company to Invest Over $100 Million in Sanford PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:51
Audentes Therapeutics, a genetic medicines company, will create 209 new jobs in Lee County, investing $109 million to locate a manufacturing facility in Sanford. 
“With our powerhouse research centers and highly-skilled workforce, biotech pioneers recognize North Carolina’s role as a leader in the life sciences,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Lee County is a perfect fit for Audentes as they seek to become a global leader in genetic medicines.” 
An Astellas company, Audentes Therapeutics focuses on developing and commercializing innovative genetic medicines that can offer transformative benefits to patients. Audentes will develop a 135,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, large-scale gene therapy manufacturing facility in Sanford. The initial phase of the capital investment is planned to occur over approximately 18 months, with the plant expected to become operational in 2021. The remaining investment will take place over two additional planned expansion phases.
“Our investment in internal large-scale manufacturing has always been a cornerstone of our strategy to develop and ultimately deliver our important genetic medicines to patients as rapidly as possible. This new facility in Sanford will support the next phase of our growth as we establish a robust, global supply chain and expand our therapeutic and geographic scope as a part of the Astellas group of companies,” stated Natalie Holles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Audentes. “We are excited to join the vibrant biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing community that the state of North Carolina has established.”
“Audentes Therapeutics is joining one of the nation’s top life science clusters,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “North Carolina has the largest biomanufacturing workforce in the nation and a growing concentration of gene therapy scientists, researchers and workers.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company’s decision.
The average for all new positions could reach up to $83,900. The current average annual wage in Lee County of $41,784.
Audentes’ project in North Carolina 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 nearly $1.4 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 209 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,725,100, 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 Audentes chose to locate in Lee County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $414,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 2 county such as Lee, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.
“This is an exciting day for Lee County and the City of Sanford because this business is an important part of the biotechnology industry, creating hundreds of jobs and contributing millions of dollars to our local economy,” said N.C. Senator Jim Burgin.
“Audentes’ new jobs and investment are great wins for the entire state,” said N.C. Representative John Sauls. “North Carolina has a strong pipeline of biopharmaceutical talent and a business climate to support their future growth and success.”
In addition to N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Lee County, Sanford Area Growth Alliance, City of Sanford, and North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:52
NC Communities Get Water and Sewer Grants PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:22
Governor Roy Cooper announced today that $166 million in loans and grants to help pay for 88 critical drinking water and wastewater projects. 
“All families across our state deserve clean water,” said Governor Cooper. “Some water and sewer systems are over a hundred years old, and these funds will help communities meet their infrastructure challenges.”
Economic development requires reliable, resilient water and sewer systems, which are also the foundation for protection of public health and the environment. Studies show that North Carolina still needs from $17 billion to $26 billion in upgrades to its water and sewer infrastructure statewide. 
A few of the notable projects in the latest round of funding include:
More than $4.5 million in drinking water and wastewater funding for Bethel in Pitt County to prepare the small town’s failing systems to merge with the Greenville Utilities Commission.
Woodland in Northampton County will receive $983,500 from the Community Development Block Grant-Infrastructure program, helping the town become compliant and more efficient and environmentally protective.
Clayton will receive a $30 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for their water reclamation facility.
A list of all projects funded statewide by town and/or county is available at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/WI/Authority/Feb.-2020-State-Water-Infrastructure-Authority-Funding-Approvals.pdf
The grants and loans are funded through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program, Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program, the Wastewater State Reserve program, the Community Development Block Grant-Infrastructure program, the Asset Inventory and Assessment Grant program and the Merger/Regionalization Feasibility Grant program. The funds were officially approved Feb. 12 by the State Water Infrastructure Authority. 
“Access to clean water and reliable water infrastructure is critical to the economic competitiveness and future resiliency of North Carolina’s communities. This funding is essential to help utilities across our state meet some of the challenges they currently face,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. 
The application period for the authority’s next round of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects ends on April 30. The Division of Water Infrastructure will conduct statewide training sessions at six locations Feb. 19 through Feb. 28 for applicants interested in applying for the next round of funds. The training schedule is available at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/WI/Application_Info/2020-Spring-Training-Announcement-WEBSITE-version.pdf
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:23
Pitt-Greenville Airport Gets $750k Federal Grant PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:06
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Pitt-Greenville Authority has received a $750,000 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) Grant. The grant will support funding for twice daily service to a second major airport hub on the East Coast to give Eastern North Carolinians more travel options when connecting. 
Senator Thom Tillis directly advocated for the grant on behalf of the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority, including sending a letter to Secretary Elaine Chao in July 2019 asking for her support. USDOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) is a grant program designed to help small communities address air service and airfare issues.
“Today’s announcement is a major win and significant investment for Greenville and surrounding communities,” said Senator Tillis. “This $750,000 grant will be used to promote increased travel options for North Carolinians and generate additional economic activity in the community. I am proud I was able to advocate for this critical funding and look forward to the development it will bring.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:10

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